By Abiodun Esan
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Saturday led other state officials to cut grasses at Mount Carmel College in Ilorin ahead of the statewide school resumption on Monday.
The governor said his action was meant to inspire people to take responsibilities for government’s facilities located in their areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AbdulRazaq wore a pair of jeans trousers, a fez cap, a shirt and his signature get-ready-for-work shoe for the exercise.
He arrived the school with his cutlass and he was accompanied by the House of Assembly leader, Magaji Olawoyin, and the Chairman of the state Environmental Task Force, AbdulRazaq Jiddah.
The governor then inspected the school which was partly affected by the recent rainstorm that destroyed parts of Ilorin.
The governor after the exercise said, “The message here is to emphasise self-helps and community contributions to public projects.
“When government locates a project in your community, such a community should take ownership.
“My being here is to send the signal that nobody is too big to be involved in community work; we need to help ourselves. It is really no big deal to make things work.”
AbdulRazaq said that several community self-help projects and interventions are needed now more than ever as government resources dry up amid global economic downturn and rising needs of the public.
“There is scarcity of resources to go round. From the recent ecological disaster, it is clear that government can’t really cope in terms of funding.
“Communities should assist and join hands together, especially, the Parent/Teacher Associations (PTAs).
“Everyone should cooperate with the government in order to keep the environment clean and mitigate environmental disaster,” he said.
He added that there were lots of work to be done; adding that most of the schools in the state were dilapidated.
He also said that of them had been affected by the recent flooding and rainstorm.
“So, the message is self-help and community work. The communities should take ownerships of schools and adopt schools around them,” he added.
The governor reiterated the efforts of his administration to reposition basic schools whose conditions, he described as mostly appalling.
He decried the precarious condition of Mount Carmel College, regarded as one of the most popular schools in the state capital.
“The neglect of schools is disgraceful and this justifies our commitment to invest in them .
“We will renovate and rebuild most of these schools because most of them are not about renovation. That is why the cost are coming high because we’re rebuilding some out rightly.
“With the help of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), we will gradually put things back in shape.
“It will not stop at just that; we still need to train the teachers and give them conducive environments to be able to teach,” AbdulRazaq said.
Mededem Jacinta, the Principal of the school, who later joined the governor, commended him for the unannounced visit to the school.