Education is seen as a tool for the transformation of lives in the society. It is also an indispensable factor in addressing the socio-economic, socio-cultural, political as well as technological problem of any nation.
In Nigeria, it is captured in the national policy on Education (FRN, 2004) that the federal government has adopted education as instrument par excellence for attracting national development. To achieve this, human resources is perceived as the most vital resources that is in the disposal of the educational enterprise. Therefore the proper management of human resources is critical to the achievement of educational goals which incidentally pave way for the development of the society.
The Local Education Authority was established for effective management of primary school education in Nigeria. On January, 1st 1991, the head of state General Ibrahim Babangida promulgated decree No. 3 of 1991 which introduced the third- tier primary education management in Nigeria thereby returning Primary School Education to the Local Government where it rightly belong.
Strategically located at the power hub of the Abak Local Government Area, the Abak Local Education Authority which is situated opposite the Abak Local Government Council Secretariat is now a death trap for workers working there due to its horrible dilapidated state.
The Abak Local Education Authority which was built in 1930 during the era when Akwa Ibom State was still under the colonial administration has not undergone any renovation or reconstruction since the building was constructed in 1930.
In some parts of the building, the rust roof has since been blown off by wind and at present overgrown with grasses.
Lamenting their plight, some workers who were still working inside the building bemoaned that the roof that covered the front office of the building which was the only place left for them to stay and work caved-in last year during the rainy season as a result of rainstorm.
The workers who appeared crestfallen expressed worries about the horrible state of their work place and said that their lives were at risk as the caved-in roof can totally collapse on them one day.
Responding on why they have decided to risk their lives by still coming to work under such a building, the Abak Local Education Authority workers bewailed that they were left with no other option than to continue and work in the building as staying back at home will amount to risking their job which is their means of livelihood.
This reporter who took a tour around the building discovered that some educational files and records drenched with water were abandoned in the dilapidated building.
Also Speaking, the Education secretary in Abak who pleaded anonymity because of her position as a civil servant said she has written several times to appropriate authority on the state of the building without any positive outcome. The source pleaded with this reporter to help draw the attention of government to their plight if at all they will respond.
A source who would not want his name mentioned on print wondered how a transition chairman who prides himself as a PHD holder in Law would watch workers work in such an environment within his area of jurisdiction without questioning his integrity as a leader.
The source also added that if Mr. Emmanuel Udosen cannot renovate the building which is one of his primary duties, he should have at least called on the State Government to intervene in the situation.
‘’Assuming the building is located inside an interior place one will assume that Hon. Emmanuel Udosen may not have seen it. However, it beats my imagination that a transition chairman who prides himself as a PHD holder could watch workers working inside such a building without doing something about it till today. Even if cannot renovate the building which is one of his primary duties, he should have at least called on the state government to intervene. Something like this brings to question his integrity as a leader in that local government,’’ the source said.
It would be recalled that recently, PDP elders in Abak accused Mr. Emmanuel Udosen of sowing seeds of discord in Abak and running after sycophantic awards instead of embarking on life touching projects in the Local Government Area. An allegation Hon. Emmanuel Udosen swiftly denied.
Efforts made by our reporter to speak with Hon. Emmanuel Udosen, the transition chairman of Abak Local Government Area, about the dilapidated building proved abortive as he neither picked calls nor replied to the text message sent to him by our reporter as at the time of filing this report.