From the Daily Champion
BISHOP Idowu Fearon of Kaduna Anglican Diocese has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sustain his commitment to the education sector.
Fearon gave the charge in Lokoja on Sunday at a reception organised for the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of the Federal University, Lokoja, Prof. Abdulmumini Rafindadi and Mrs Habiba Adeiza respectively. The reception was organised by the Lokoja Forum of Patriots (LFP).
The cleric, who lauded the establishment of federal universities, noted that the development of any nation was hinged on the level of education of its people.
He urged the president to sustain the leverage given Nigerians to be educated from primary to tertiary levels with less stress.
Fearon said the factor of "catchment area" as part of considerations for offering admission had in the past robbed many indigenes of Lokoja of the opportunity to acquire university education.
He, however enjoined the people to take advantage of the institution, saying " it is our expectation that this university will help us to think nationally."
The cleric also urged indigenes of the state not to bother the institution's management with demands it would not be able to meet.
Also speaking at the occasion, Sen. Tunde Ogbeha said the reception was organised to show that Lokoja community was appreciative of the Federal Government's gesture.
He gave an assurance that the management of the institution would receive all the necessary support from indigenes.
The Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Idris Baba'ango, said the reception was the forum's modest way to welcome the university community and give an assurance of the people's partnership.
He, however, appealed to the management of the institution to consider the people of the state during admission and recruitment processes.
" The university will become meaningless if our people cannot take advantage of its location to achieve these things," he added.
Gov. Ibrahim Idris, represented by Chief Sylvester Onoja, the Commissioner for Education, recalled that the first primary school in Northern Nigeria was established in Lokoja in 1865.
He said it had taken more than 100 years for Lokoja community to have a university. Idris called on the people to accord the university management all the necessary support and encouragement.
Responding, the vice-chancellor said the challenge of starting an institution from the scratch could be intimidating. He, however, thanked the state government and Lokoja community for allaying his fears.