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ITF debunks MURIC’s alleged marginalisation of Muslims

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Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Jos, has replied the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), which accused its Director-General, Joseph Ari, of nepotism, wrongful appointments and marginalisation of Muslims in the running of the agency.

ITF Director, Public Affairs Department, Suleyol Fred-Chagu, stated yesterday: “Whereas it is not the policy of ITF to respond to every negative comment, since we believe in the inalienable right of Nigerians to free speech, we take exception to orchestrated efforts to malign, impugn and whip up negative sentiments against the ITF and its functionaries through outright lies and calculated misinformation as contained in the MURIC release.

“However, to correct the erroneous impression that the publication might have created in the minds of Nigerians, we are constrained to react that the Director-General is a devoted Christian, whose lineage, including his direct siblings, is populated by both religions.”

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According to ITF, the DG does not believe in nepotism and tribalism and does not indulge in religious bigotry.

“Indeed, the DG is a detribalised Nigerian, who has formed long-lasting relationships across all faiths and tribes in Nigeria. With regard to what the group alleged to be ‘Christianisation’ and ‘Plateaurisation’ agenda of the DG in the ITF, we want to place on record that this is far from the truth and a product of the imagination of the writers.

“The recruitment exercise conducted in February 2019, which they hinged their allegations on, followed all due processes and was coordinated by the Federal Character Commission that even issued a letter of compliance to the Fund after the exercise,” it added.

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MURIC had said that only four Muslims were appointed into a 15-member management body during Ari’s first tenure, while five are currently in the team of 17 in his second term.

“This is also sadly untrue. The reality is that as a consummate and experienced administrator, the DG has ensured that all zones are represented in the management, which is the first time such has happened in the history of the organisation.

“However, it will be necessary to note that there will be disparities in the constitution of any management due to the fact that other considerations namely: seniority, merit, vacancies apart from spread of representation are factored into the process.”

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