The Greater Ogoja Development Initiative (GODI) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill seeking the establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Ogoja (FUTO) passed by the National Assembly.
Prof. Odey Osha, the Spokesperson of GODI made the appeal in Abuja on Tuesday at a news conference tagged “Making the Voice of Northern Cross River Count.’’
He said the bill seeking the establishment of the university had been passed by both chambers of the 8th National Assembly.
He said the institution was paramount to the people of Ogoja who were desirous of accessing quality education to drive nation-building.
“It is axiomatic fact that knowledge will forever govern ignorance.
“The fact that you have an avalanche of requests for the establishment of tertiary institutions does not vitiate the imperativeness of citizens’ desire for education.
“The passage of the bill is necessary to addressing the teething challenges faced by Nigerians in their respective geographical locations,’’ he said.
Osha added that the northern fringes of the old Ogoja province, configured into Bekwarra, Obanliku, Obudu, Ogoja and Yala Local Government Areas had resolved that the university be established in Ogoja.
He disclosed that land had been provided for the purpose.
“Ogoja was promised a university as early as 1975 and surreptitiously short-changed by the powers that be on the ground of a minor disagreement between the host communities.
“Today, we have come of age to ask for what is rightly our own. Ogoja has been greatly marginalised in terms of federal tertiary education,’’ he said.
Osha noted that the establishment of the university would not only benefit the people of Ogoja but also serve as a catchment university to the people of Enugu, Benue, Ebonyi and Taraba states.
Mr Godwin Akoli, the Coordinator of the initiative said that the establishment of a university in Ogoja would add to the development in the socio-economic activities of the people.
According to him, from Ogoja to Calabar, the state capital is 304 km, a far distance to anyone seeking knowledge within the state.
He said if established, the university would create 6,000 direct jobs, thereby reducing the unemployment rate in the country.