Etim Ekpimah, Uyo
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria host community, Oron, stakeholders in maritime sector and youth groups have condemned the newly inaugurated Interim Management Committee for the institution by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the representatives of three groups by the Chairman and Secretary, Oron Nation Patriotic Elders Forum, Chief Effiakedoho Antai and Offong Ekpaha, respectively.
Other signatories are the President, Forum of Non-Indigenes, Yakubu Umar; Secretary, Wale Adekunle; and Director of Media, Chukwuma Obiora; as well as the President and Secretary of the Concerned Youth Advocacy Group of Oron, Mr. Joseph Attah and Mr. Anthony Uweh.
The groups, which expressed their displeasure over the newly constituted committee and the appointment of a new rector outside the academy and transport sector, demanded explanations from Amaechi on why he decided to bring confusion into the academy.
According to the statement, in January 2017, the Ministry of Transportation has constituted a seven-man ministerial committee headed by Chief Adebayo Sarumi.
It said that the committee was mandated to advise the Federal Government on how best to restructure and reposition MAN for global competitiveness.
It added that the committee, having begun its sitting on January 25, 2017 in the academy, subsequently submitted its report within a few weeks and left without informing the employees, management and stakeholders of the academy what the outcomes were.
The statement said, “It is time those in power stop taking the enduring patience and peaceful dispositions of stakeholders of the academy for granted by gambling with the privileges, opportunities, integrity and corporate image of Oron people and Akwa Ibom State even in clear issues that otherwise would have attracted the least tension if fairness and justice were allowed to prevail.
“We, the Oron ethnic nationality, are shocked and dismayed over the mischievous scheming, nepotism, politicking and highhandedness that saw the tactical humiliation of Oron people and the Acting Rector, Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok, whom the stakeholders said had performed creditably well ever since he took over, from critical management mechanism of the academy with the present imposition of an Interim Management Committee on the academy.
“Since the academy was established in 1977, no Akwa Ibom indigene of Oron extraction has ever been appointed a substantive rector of MAN. Those found in conditional capacities as registrars have either been made to work in the worst conditions imaginable or forced out of office prematurely by cabals who never wished Oron people well.
“We also wonder how much some members of the IMC who previously have had to flee from the academy years ago on grounds of impropriety and lack of public trust will bring back to the same institution in the unfolding circumstances.”
The statement asked President Muhammadu Buhari to direct Amaechi to suspend the IMC as its composition was deemed unfair, illogical, overbearing and unilateral, and allow the status quo to remain. The stakeholders urged the President to be aware that justice delayed was justice denied.
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