As the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) enters its 8th month of strike, any right-thinking person vying for elective office should know better than to promise to build 21 additional universities. It is safe to say, therefore, that Dr. Godwin Maduka has his eyes set on the wrong priorities.
The US-based doctor who is vying for the highest office in Anambra State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) made a promise to build 21 universities if elected, at an event he organised for Anambra youth in his Umuchukwu country home.
In his words, “In other places of the earth, some towns have up to six universities. It should be as easy as ABC. We will start with only 21; one per local government.”
Anambra State is home to 17 accredited higher institutions, 3 of them universities. While the governorship aspirant may be right in his assertion that in other climes one town alone could have more than one university, he failed to note that these institutions are well-funded even to the point they are able to run independent of government.
As the many comments under the tweet announcing this pointed out, there are many campaign promises that could have resonated better with people and this one is not one of them.
Nigeria is slipping into its second recession in 5 years amidst falling oil price. A campaign promise of a policy that helps cushion the impact of the recession on Anambra people would have gone a long way for the governorship aspirant.
That is not asking for too much.