Gov Amaechi Abolishes Discriminatory School Fees for Non-Indigenes …He is a hero, a deliverer and a patriotic leader – NIPF
By Our Correspondent
It was celebration galore last Monday among non-indigenes in Rivers State when the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, announced to students and staff of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) that henceforth it would be abominable to allow the injustice in State-owned schools where non-indigenes are made to pay fees far higher than what indigenous students pay.
According to the amiable and revolutionary Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), “the so called non-indigenes – as I don’t believe in this concept of non-indigeneship – should no longer pay fees higher than that payable by the indigenes of Rivers State. To me, once you have lived in Rivers State for five years, you are an indigene of Rivers State and entitled to everything entitled to any indigene of the State.”
Upon that announcement, RSUST exploded into dancing and celebrating, with elated students singing, “Who shall we follow? Amaechi! Amaechi!! Amaechi we shall follow; he is our hero and deliverer.”
This great pronouncement on this special occasion of the Governor’s interaction with the RSUST students was a follow up on the abolishment of the concept of non-indigene in Nigeria in April, 2014. Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has in April, 2014 made history by becoming the first Governor in the annals of governance in Nigeria to abolish the concept of non-indigeneship in any State of the Federation.
He announced this while welcoming a large crowd of non-indigenes in the State who paid him a solidarity visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
On this eventful day, Amaechi told his guests, all members of the Non-Indiegne Political Form (NIPF), a support group of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State that: “I don’t believe in non-indigeneship. As far as I am concerned, you are entitled to everything if you have lived in Rivers State for at least five years. We are all Rivers indigenes. If you go anywhere around this State and they are segregating against you, please, call my attention. The reason is that we are all Nigerians and we remain bonafide citizens of this country. The All Progressives Congress (APC) believes that there is need for change because the government in power does not want money to reach you. We need the bottom-top approach for our people to benefit and improve their standard of living.”
Reacting to the happy news, the leader of the Non-Indigenes Political Forum (NIPF), Barr. Chuma Chinye, who also doubles as the Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, stated: “I am not so sure that I have felt so elated, honoured and humbled in my life like this day when I heard this great pronouncement by the greatest leader of our time. The highest gift you can give to any reasonable Nigerian is education and for the Governor to slash the fees of the non-indigenes in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology from N85,000 to N18,000 is the best Christmas gift we can receive from the government and people of Rivers State.
“I therefore urge all the non-indigenes to brace up to pay back the Governor by registering and obtaining the INEC Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) as a tool for us to collectively punish the PDP and its promoters during the 2015 elections. It is through this means that we can appreciate this Governor that has demonstrated such commitment towards our case in Nigeria.”
NIPF Coordinator, Chief Uchenna Okokoba, expressed similar sentiments, reacting thus: “Governor Amaechi is a true patriotic leader of our time. He is a nationalist in the mould of the Awolowos, Ziks, Ahmadu Bellos and Tafawa Balewas as these people all believed in one great virile, vibrant and indissoluble Nigeria.
“This is a leader who apart from appointing our people into the State Executive Council and other sensitive positions has also within a very short time empowered our people through contracts, ensured that our members are part of the 23 Local Government Caretaker Committees, ensured that our people are among the 13,000 teachers employed by the State to boost her educational advancement, reserved 20 per cent scholarship for non-indigenes in the State and included our people in all the Muslim and Christian pilgrimages amongst other largesse.
“In addition, he has integrated our people in the APC structure in the State and rebuilt the Mile 1 Market that was gutted by fire last Christmas where the bulk of our people do their businesses. Apart from all these, his remarkable feats in Security, Health, Agriculture, Education and quality infrastructure places him as first among equals in the leadership spectrum of our country. We will eternally remain grateful to this man whose love for our people is legendary.”