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NECO gets two registrars in one month


NECOBarely one month after he was appointed Registrar/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Examination Council (NECO), Minna, Niger State, the Federal Government may have bowed to pressure from interest groups in the North and eased out Prof. Monday Tommy Joshua from office.

Joshua’s removal was announced on the network service of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), without him having any knowledge of the development. The academic, a professor of Educational Research Measurement and Evaluation from the University of Calabar, who took over from Prof Promise Okpalla last month has, however, been appointed Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education.

In his stead, former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Bayero University, Kano, Professor Abdulrasheed Garba, has been appointed new NECO helmsman.

Joshua, who got his new appointment letter Monday, was welcomed by protests from several quarters including the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI) NECO branch, that challenged his appointment and alleged that due process was not followed.

Members of the National Youth Council, Niger State chapter, which also challenged Joshua’s appointment, stormed the NECO Headquarters, and demanded for the appointment of an indigene of the state as the chief executive of the council.

The protesters, led by the state chairman of the council, Comrade Mustapha Tijani, appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to entrust the leadership of the council to any qualified indigene of the state.

Tijani who spoke to newsmen argued that despite a conducive and peaceful working environment created by the people of the state since the inception of the defunct National Board for Education Measurement that transformed to NECO, the Federal Government has not considered appointing the chief executive of the council from the state.

“It is sad that with the array of qualified professors from this state, the Federal Government has not deemed it fit to appoint NECO chief executive from the state. Prof. Dibu Ojerinde served as pioneer registrar and was followed by Prof. Promise Okpala,” he stated.

Last week, youths from Akwa Ibom State, home state of Prof. Joshua, condemned the protest staged by their counterparts in Niger State, stressing that their action negates the federal character policy and should be condemned outright by all and sundry.

Speaking with newsmen in Uyo, Chairman of Akwa Ibom Youths for Quality Leadership Initiative, Ndueso Akpan, 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.”

Confirming Garba’s appointment, information officer of the organisation, Mallam Abdulazeez Sani, said the new registrar was expected to assume duty yesterday.

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