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A’Ibom youths decry calls for removal of NECO boss



Tommy Joshua.

Youths from Akwa Ibom State have condemned the recent protest staged by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), Niger State Chapter, where they demanded for the removal of the newly appointed Registrar and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Prof. Monday Tommy Joshua.

Joshua, a professor of Educational Research Measurement and Evaluation from the University of Calabar (UNICAL), and an indigene of Akwa Ibom State, was recently appointed NECO boss. The federal government outfit has its Headquarters in Minna, Niger State.

Shortly after his appointment and his subsequent assumption of office, some youths from the state, under the aegis of NYC protested and demanded for his immediate removal and replacement with an indigene of the state, since according to them, they have never produced the helmsman since the establishment of the outfit in 1999.

But speaking with newsmen in Uyo, Chairman of Akwa Ibom Youths for Quality Leadership Initiative, Ndueso Akpan, stridently condemned the action of the Niger youths saying it was unbecoming of a united Nigeria, where federal character should be respected.

He said Akwa Ibom youths were particularly disappointed by the action of NYC noting that, it was indeed worrisome when young people who were considered future leaders of Nigeria descend so low in their reasoning and actions.

“Is NECO a Niger State establishment? Are we going to rule this country like this in the future? Their action negates the federal character policy and should be condemned outright by all and sundry,” the youth leader submitted.

“We are very happy to have a core professional in Educational Research Measurement and Evaluation, who is an indigene of Akwa Ibom State, being appointed as Registrar/CEO of NECO, which is in line with the federal character principle that gives credence to equity and professionalism,” Akpan stated adding that, “Any attempt to remove Joshua, on the spurious ground that he is not an indigene of Niger State is tantamount to importing xenophobic tendencies to our country.”

He continued, “We have Maritime Academy of Nigeria in our State, how many indigenes of Akwa Ibom extraction have been appointed rectors of the institution before? Exxon Mobil is here, how many people from this state have had the privilege to head the organisation? We have not, at any point in time, protested against the headship of these establishments or made the place ungovernable for any qualified Nigerian, irrespective of his/her state of origin that has so far been appointed.

Our understanding is guided by the fact that they are all federal establishments, and every Nigerian has equal opportunity to head them.

“We hope that the Federal Government will not succumb to the frivolous demands and blackmail upon which the Niger State youths protest was anchored, because it is crystal clear that they and their sponsors are not well informed,” he submitted.

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