Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Friday condemned Nigerian public officials who send their children to schools abroad, saying it is wrong for government functionaries to educate their children outside Nigeria.
The governor’s comment appears to have been directed at President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and other top Nigerian officials, including fellow state governors, whose children recently graduated from or are in universities abroad.
Mr. Fayose urged the affected officials to emulate him, saying all his children are products of Nigerian universities.
Mr. Fayose, who was at Covenant University, Ota, in Ogun State, to witness the graduation ceremony of one of his sons, Ayorogbayimika Fayose, told journalists that there was no reason children of public office holders should study in universities outside Nigeria, except in cases where courses they are interested in are not offered in Nigerian
The governor’s Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, quoted Mr. Fayose as saying, “We talk and do. Whatever we say is what we practice. Apart from the fact that none of my children attended schools abroad, I have never travelled out of the country for Medicare.
“Even though the views of people like us might not be popular among the powers that be because we say the truth and act the truth, we won’t stop telling them what they do not like to hear and one of such is that the only way to improve the standard of education in the country is for children of holders of public office to experience what children of ordinary Nigerians are experiencing in schools in the country.
“During my first tenure as governor, I took my son from a private school and enrolled him in SUBEB Model Primary School in Ado Ekiti.
“Today again, I am here to witness the graduation of my son and I make bold to say here that none of my children attended tertiary institution outside Nigeria.
“That should be the spirit not a situation where someone is the minister of education in Nigeria and his children are schooling abroad. And by enforcing this too, we will be saving Nigeria a lot of foreign exchange being wasted on medical and academic tourism.”
While condemning what he described as the hypocrisy of some Nigerian leaders, especially those in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Fayose said; “Even children of President Muhammadu Buhari that they told us lived a modest life attended universities abroad.
Shouldn’t President Buhari have lived by example by enrolling his children in universities in Nigeria?”
While reiterating his commitment to the uplift of education in Ekiti State, Governor Fayose added, “We are after quality education and we want to maintain our position as leaders in the education sector. We are first in NECO examinations and we are among the best in WAEC and the only industry in Ekiti State is education and we can’t afford to let it depreciate.”
The governor also called on parents, corporate bodies and others to support the government in the task of improving the standard of education in the state.