From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Patriotic Oron Youth Groups and Coalition of Civil Organisations in Nigeria have made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to properly equip Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Akwa Ibom State with the needed facilities to enhance the cadets’ compulsory sea time training and related areas of professional development.
The coordinator of the group, Comrade Etifit Nkereuwem, who made the disclosure at a press conference in Abuja last weekend, also appealed to the government to confirm Dr. Mkpandiok Ante Mkpandiok as the substantive Rector of the Academy after being on an acting capacity since August last year.
Comrade Nkereuwem said: “We, the Patriotic Youth Groups in Oro nation and other relevant stakeholders from the host communities of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, in collaboration with Coalition of Civil Societies in Nigeria wish to appreciate the consistent attention and renewed focus of government on the Academy
“We equally commend the painstaking, patriotic and committed involvement of the National Assembly toward ensuring that words are translated into action in this respect. We, however, are unpretentiously worried about what has been the history of hierarchy structure of the academy since 1977 when it was established.
“Without undermining or preempting the Federal Government’s discretion in this particular area, we wish to state without fear or favour that what has been the situation over the years is enough to invite justifiable jealousy and complaints from stakeholders from the core host communities of MAN, Oron.
“Maybe this is the best of times for this to be corrected in practical submission to the Acting President’s call for equity and even development across the diverse entities in the country especially in the Niger Delta region.
“Although the above observations have been very painful and challenging, we have chosen the path of peace, diplomacy and consultation that have been the reason for the peaceful working environment and inter-personal cordiality that the Academy has witnessed and enjoyed over the years,” he said.