Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta state, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has condemned in strong terms the seven-day ultimatum issued on Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to provide information on details of the budgetary allocations and actual spending on primary school education in the state.
SERAP, a non-governmental organisation had, on Saturday, asked the governor to disclose details of the budgetary allocations and actual spending by the government to provide access to free and quality primary school education between 2015 and 2019.
The group had also given the governor a seven-day ultimatum to supply the needed data, failirw to do so, appropriate legal actions would be instituted by SERAP against thw government.
Reacting to the demand and ultimatum while addressing newsmen in Warri,Delta State on Thursday, Onuesoke said SERAP demands and ultimatum are like giving dog a bad name in order to hang it.
He disclosed that Delta state does not only pay its workers as at when due, the government equally assists local governments to ensure that the teachers are well paid as at when due.
He revealed that there are states in the federation where teachers are even paid half salaries and children learn under trees, adding that why did SERAP not query those states?
“In some other states, they are owed more than six months. I expect SERAP to go there and begin to demand for ultimatum so that we know that indeed they are very much interested in the development of this country and not playing to the gallery,” he stated.
Onuesoke, who agreed that the state of Okotiebor Primary School, Sapele, Delta State is totally unacceptable, he, however argued that using that to measure the standard of primary school infrastructure and educational quality in the state is a calculated attempt to rubbish Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who had been performing excellently well in the educational sector.
He pointed out that attempt by SERAP to rubbish Okowa under any disguise will backfire, stressing that majority of Delta state public schools at this level are in very good state compared to whatever exists anywhere in Nigeria.
“Besides, it looks as if SERAP does not do thorough investigation before embarking on its demand and threat. If it did, the group would have discovered that primary school management is funded directly from Abuja revenue allocation to the LGAs.
“Go and check your records, primary schools are under SUBEB management which are responsibilities of the LGAs, while secondary schools are managed by PPEB which are funded by the state government.
“SERAP should summon the LGA chairmen in Delta state and indeed all other states for accountability. I thought they should wisely collapse their demand into the quest to restructure Nigeria so that the states should take over full management of their states and LGAs rather than using a lopsided partitioning of the tier of government,” he said.