Kinsley Chinda, Lawmaker representing Obio Akpor Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, in this interview with NWADIKE UGOCHUKWU, says Governor Nyesom Wike cannot fund overseas scholarship for indigenes of Rivers State.
AT the stakeholders meeting organize by Rivers State Government; Governor Nyesom Wike said that he will not fund overseas scholarship, do you agree with him?
The governor said that the state economy is not viable because it was wastage, a conduit pile to siphon money. Today, there is no money in the government, how do you sustain the overseas scholarship programme, it is not possible. Those ones studying there in overseas should come back and study in Rivers State University of Science and Technology (UST). So, those that are studying in overseas through state government scholarship should come home, but the peculiar ones should remain there if there are in final year. Those who do not have a good teaching, should come back and study in the Rivers State University. The courses they went to study overseas exist here; so, why send them overseas. We do not see any need for sponsoring indigenes of Rives State on the foreign scholarships; they are still suffering there. These are the privileged ones; their parents are the ones controlling government and businesses in the state; so. They can pay their school fees.
What do you think should be done to control harassment of female students or sexual abuse by university lecturers, an ugly trend that has become a serious concern to their parents?
It is, of course, a crime for a lecturer to induce somebody to commit a crime, you are also culpable. The laws are there. The only thing we have to do is to look at the criminal code; the law has been amended by the National Assembly. If you do that, we have a new law to take care of such situation. The issue of harassment by students of their lecturers, the National Assembly is trying to make laws to see how that can stop. The lecturers that are harassing the female students or luring them for sexual pleasure are doing illegal thing.
The Nation Assembly is taking this issue serious. It is a crime to harass any student. Their parents have provided adequate funds for them; they should be serious with their academic works. If they are serious in their academic work, I doubt if they want to subject themselves to lecturers. It is abuse to any lecturer where such thing happens. They have right to report that lecturer so that the full weight of the law will fall on that person. National Assembly has a bill to protect the vulnerable.
What is your take on the falling standard of education in the country?
Can you tell me a sector where there is still high standard, is it improving infrastructure, is it road, is it transportation, the economic, or is it the politics. We are celebrating democracy because we have a situation where a sitting President willingly stepped down and submitted to the victory of the opposition, bowed out very honorably. Now, we have a different situation where INEC has not completed declaring the result of the election it conducted after months. How many months have the INEC conducted elections in Rivers State, what was the result of that election? That has remained a top secret to INEC and those controlling it. Now, the growth and development of democracy in the country is gradually sliding. It is still early in the day we wake up from slumber because the government needs to seat up, the government of the day needs to wake up. It is not about propaganda, government is a serious business. If you are not prepared for governance, step aside and allow those who are prepared to take over the government and take over the saddle of leadership.
Kidnapping and cultism have been on the high side in Rivers State, many people have been killed in the state; would you support the making of a severe law to stop these criminalities in Rivers State?
There is already law on that; the anti-kidnapping law; the Rivers State Government is only state that has made that law. What we are talking about is not the security, today; we are talking scientific security system. We need to adopt scientific system on modern crimes. That is what we should go for to enable us fight crime to a halt. There is crime in every city in the world. In every city in the world, there are security challenges; the kind of security we have in this country cannot be compared with other countries that are using scientific security systems. The one we have in place, it is not only stale, it is ineffective. Are you worried over the delayed election in Rivers?
Why is it that INEC has not conducted election in the political zones where elections were conducted and cancelled? Perhaps, if you meet INEC officials, they will be in a better position to give information why they have not conducted the elections. I don’t see any reason why INEC has not conducted the elections.
The general elections were conducted over a year ago; there was the rerun about three months ago. So, there are no possible reasons to be given why they should not conduct the remaining elections.
Do you think it is a plot to deny you your position in the House of Representatives?
Well, for me, I have been saying it that nobody can deny me my seat in the National Assembly. Whatever position I hold comes from God and the people of Rivers State. If God does not want me, He will say otherwise; but I cannot allow anybody to deny me my seat and position. if I leave the National Assembly today or tomorrow, I will see it as the act of God, and I will thank God for it. But I will not allow any man to deliberately deny me my position.