Peter Obi Responds to Criticism Over Lack of New Schools Built During Tenure as Anambra Governor

Peter Obi defends his education record as Anambra governor, saying he focused on improving existing schools rather than building new ones, leading to the state's rise to the top of national education rankings.

Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Peter Obi Responds to Criticism Over Lack of New Schools Built During Tenure as Anambra Governor

Peter Obi Responds to Criticism Over Lack of New Schools Built During Tenure as Anambra Governor

Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State and current presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has addressed criticism from Reno Omokri regarding his record on school construction during his eight-year tenure. Omokri challenged Obi and his supporters to name a single school that the former governor initiated, started, completed, and commissioned, offering a $10,000 reward.

In response, Obi acknowledged that his administration did not concentrate on building new schools but rather on improving the quality and infrastructure of existing ones. "When I took office, Anambra was ranked 26th in the nation, with shuttered schools and a broken educational system," Obi explained. "Instead of building new schools, [I] focused on improving the quality, physical and mental well-being of the people, ensuring that the existing schools had the basic things they needed."

Obi argued that constructing new schools when the old ones were in a dilapidated state would have been akin to "building coastal lines when the internal roads are impassable." He emphasized that his manifesto centered on revitalizing the existing education system rather than building new schools from scratch.

By the end of his tenure, Anambra had risen to the top of national education rankings, a feat Obi attributed to his administration's efforts to address the needs of the existing schools and ensure a better learning environment for students. "By the time [I] left office, Anambra had risen to the top, and the people were 'shining like stars,' which was in line with [my] manifesto," Obi stated.

Why this matters: The debate over Obi's record on education highlights the ongoing discussion about the most effective strategies for improving Nigeria's school system. As the 2023 presidential election approaches, candidates' track records and priorities in key areas such as education are likely to face increased scrutiny from voters and political opponents alike.

While Obi's response provides context to the criticism surrounding his lack of new school construction, the merits of his approach remain a topic of debate among political observers and commentators. As the former governor noted, Anambra's education system saw significant improvements during his tenure, rising from 26th in the nation to the top spot by the time he left office.

Key Takeaways

  • Peter Obi addressed criticism over lack of new school construction in Anambra.
  • Obi focused on improving quality and infrastructure of existing schools, not new builds.
  • Anambra rose from 26th to top in national education rankings under Obi's tenure.
  • Obi argued new schools were unnecessary when existing ones were in disrepair.
  • Debate highlights strategies for improving Nigeria's education system ahead of 2023 election.