By Osita Biose
Sir Dennis Osadebay, first Premier of the Old Midwestern Region of Nigeria, has finally joined the league of distinguished Nigerians who have been recognised through naming prominent higher institutions after them in the country.
This has been made possible through the elevation of the Anwai Campus of the only existing state university, the Delta State University (DELSU) alongside two other higher institutions in the state to the university status, following the passing into law of the bills establishing them at the Delta state House of Assembly. They are the University of Delta, upgraded from the College of Education, Agbor; the Dennis Osadebay University, Asaba and the Delta State University of Science and Technology, upgraded from the state polytechnic, at Ozoro.
The Dennis Osadebay University has finally actualized the yearnings of most Deltans, particularly those of the Anioma extraction, to acknowledge the monumental contributions of the late Dennis Osadebay in the overall development of the country. Great personalities as he was, such as Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe,Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Michael Okpara, Alvan Ikoku, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Professor Ambrose Alli etc, have been immortalised through naming prominent higher institutions after them in the country; a development that had made many wondering why he was left behind.
In a publication of The Pointer Newspapers edition of Monday, November 17, 2017, Mr. Emmanuel Nduka Ogwuda, social critic, business man, retired former vice principal and an advocate of standardisation of the education sector in the state, wondered if there was “anything wrong in naming the Delta State University campus at Anwai, as the Dennis Osadebay University and upgrading it to a full fledged university”, in the state, adding that it had become imperative, considering the monumental contributions of the sage in not only the development of the education sector but the region in general.
Ogwuda had opined in the article that the move would open up the gateway of admission for many Deltans seeking university education in the state and beyond.
With the upgrading of the campus alongside two other higher institutions in the state to a university status and naming it after the sage, all is now set to raise the bar of university education in the state even higher, in a smooth but faster momentum, towards the actualization of the Stronger Delta mantra of the state government.
Fortunately, the three newly upgraded institutions in the state have received the much needed approval of the National University Commission (NUC) to operate as full fledged universities.
Presenting the licences of the new universities to Governor Okowa at Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, said that the new development would increase access to higher education which the governor have been stating also as the main reason behind their establishment in the state.
Governor Okowa in his characteristic proactive moves, has swung into action by putting the necessary infrastructural requirements in place at the new Dennis Osadebay University, with a view to ensuring quality and standardised education in the institution.
While commending the state government under the watch of Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa for finally immortalising the person of Sir Dennis Osadebey, it is necessary to call on the Aniomas to continue to support his administration for not only creating enabling environment for the growth of education through more access to university education in the area and beyond, but for working tirelessly to better their lots at all times.