‘Sack of 5,000 A’ Ibom teachers meant to correct anomalies’
Akwa Ibom State government says the appointment of 5,000 teachers recruited last year was terminated because the exercise was characterised with fraud and irregularities.
Consequently, the action would give room to right the wrongs, and ensure that due process was not strictly followed, in line with extant civil service rules.
Head of Service (HOS) of the state, Mrs. Ekereobong Akpan, in an interview with The Guardian, noted that, the process of selecting the applicants was opaque as it was discovered that most of the applicants
presented fake credentials and false certificates of origin, thereby rendering the whole exercise null and void.
“Government has already issued a statement on the 5,000 people that were given appointment letters because there were too many complaints, even with the people that went through the process. Government had to say, ‘enough is enough.’
“The process of taking a decision might be slow, but the decision is taken and that is the important thing, and we are going to right those wrongs. We are looking at a situation where only those who are qualified from Akwa Ibom State, would be given appointments to teach our children,” she said.
It would be recalled the Godswill Akpabio-led administration in February 2015, conducted as interview where 5,000 teachers were given appointment letters afterwards by the state secondary education board, without posting them to schools in the state.
Following reports and widespread agitations from different quarters that the exercise did not follow due processes, the incumbent, Udom Emmanuel, on assumption of office, had to stay action on the posting of these teachers.
A committee was set up to look into these complaints, although the committee has not made its findings public, sources in government circles alleged that most of those that were employed were non-indigenes.
Although the HOS refused to acknowledge that the mass sack was based on the committee’s recommendations, she opined that with boards members in place now, the next exercise, which will take place very soon, would be handled efficiently and effectively, and in line with civil service rules.
“Nobody works from nothing, and so, if you are aware there was a committee set up, and also thinking government decision will be based on findings, and that before someone takes a decision, it must be based on something, nobody takes decision from a vacuum. Government has taken the decision that we have to do this all over again. So, let’s wait for the outcome,” she added.