R/STATE GOVT: PLS PAY THE TUITION FEE OF 16 FINAL YEAR RSSDA-MED STUDENTS IN THE CARIBBEAN
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We are 16 final year medical students of All Saints University, St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the sponsorship of the Rivers State Government (during the then Governor Rotimi Amaechi's administration) via the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) overseas scholarship program. We were awarded the scholarships to study Medicine at All Saints University in 2013 after rigorous screening procedures by the RSSDA.
Initially, our tuition and upkeep allowance were being taken care of as per our scholarship contract. However, after the transition of government, we started experiencing untold hardships as a result of the delay in payment of upkeep allowance by the new administration led by His Excellency, Barr. Nyesom Wike, the Executive Governor of Rivers State. During this period of payment delay, the Governor represented by the then Commissioner of Agriculture, Nimi Jack, held several meetings with the parents of the students under the RSSDA scholarship scheme where he informed the parents that he would only continue the sponsorship of the final year students due to the harsh economic climate brought on by the fall of oil price and, that every other student not in their final year of study will be withdrawn from school.
Following this promise by Governor Wike, we have not been paid our upkeep allowance for about 2 years and 10 months (last upkeep payment made was for November 2014). Our tuition fees have not been paid for 5 semesters now (Clinical rotation [CR2 to CR6]), and as a result of this non-payment of tuition fees, all 16 of us were suspended from school in September, 2016 (2 months to our scheduled graduation date of November 2016). Ever since our suspension 12 months ago, we have been staying at home, not being allowed to conclude our remaining elective clinical rotations and all efforts to contact the Rivers State Government for the release of funds proved abortive.
In addition, since we have not received any upkeep allowance, we have been going through untold hardships and sufferings. Finding food to eat has been very difficult as we rely on the charities of friends and school colleagues. Most landlords have evicted us from their houses due to non-payment of rent and threatened us with legal proceedings in order to recover the outstanding rent. Life has generally been tough and unbearable for all of us since we were abandoned by the Rivers State Government and RSSDA. We keep getting empty promises that outstanding tuition and upkeep allowance will be paid but till today, nothing has come of it. We have been living in limbo, not knowing what the next day holds for any of us.
Few weeks ago, Channels TV aired an interview they had with Governor Wike where he stated that RSSDA Overseas Scholarship beneficiaries were not Rivers State indigenes, that we were from Plateau and Niger States and also said we are children of his political opponents. This is not the case. We have no political affiliations, we are just young people trying to better our lives and become productive members of society. Please find below our names and local government areas of origin:
1. Adden Babeye Paul (Asari/Toru LGA)
2. Amaechi Promise Adimele (Oyigbo LGA)
3. Amadi Udochukwu Junior (Etche LGA)
4. Maakai Baribor (Gokana LGA)
5. Precious Wifa (Khana LGA)
6. Baritore Princewill Ikpe (Tai LGA)
7. Victor West Kpelene (Tai LGA)
8. Nsiipu Namene Nsiipu (Tai LGA)
9. Owajiogak Lawson Hayford (Andoni LGA)
10. Atamuno Atamuno (Ogu/Bolo LGA)
11. Atamuno Florence (Ogu/Bolo LGA)
12. Abiye Datoru Dennis (Okrika LGA)
13. Mpakaboari Clever (Okrika LGA)
14. Kalagbor Onyinyechi (Port Harcourt City LGA)
15. Dandison Chinedu Ohele (Ikwerre LGA)
16. Judith Ukala (Ahoada East LGA)
We have tried several means to reach out to the Governor including newspaper publications, radio interviews, letters addressed to Governor Wike, letters addressed to the Rivers State House of Assembly, but have not received any favourable response from them. Governor Wike always cites the excuse that there is no money in Rivers State yet projects are on-going and being commissioned by Governor Wike. We would like Governor Wike to see us as one of his projects, we are unfinished and cannot be left this way, not now that we can already see the finish line and have toiled with blood and sweat to make it this far in medical school. We cannot drop out with only 8 weeks left to finish medical school.
Finally, we would like to appeal to you to help us contact the named people on this petition especially the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike so that real action can be taken concerning this our issue and that Governor Wike will release funds so that our tuitions can be paid. We have spent one year (365 days) on promises and we want action. Please help us actualise our dreams of becoming medical doctors and to go back home to our families in Nigeria to contribute meaningfully to the development of the society and health sector of Rivers State and Nigeria at large. We have come so far on this journey and cannot give up now when we are so close to the finish line. What we need the most at this point in time is for our tuition fees to be paid, so we can be allowed to complete our remaining 8 weeks of clinical rotations, sit for our final exit exams and graduate from medical school.
Today: Udochukwu is counting on you
Udochukwu Amadi needs your help with “The Executive Governor of Rivers State Barr. Nyesom Wike: R/STATE GOVT: PLEASE PAY THE TUITION FEE OF 16 FINAL YEAR RSSDA-MEDICAL STUDENTS IN THE CARIBBEAN”. Join Udochukwu and 361 supporters today.