Posted by News Express | 8 September 2015 | 5,308 times
The management of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, on Monday said it ensured balance in areas of employment and contract awards to the host communities.
The Media Consultant to the academy, Mr. Ovie Edomi, stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.
The statement came on the heels of allegation of imbalance leveled by Oron Youth Movement (OYM) against the rector of the academy, Mr. Joshua Okpo.
It urged elders of Oron to call the youths to order.
The statement said the incumbent rector was determined to run the academy in line with the federal government's template.
It, however, said the rector would not yield to pressure from people whose sole ambition was to milk the academy dry under various guises.
“Their stock-in-trade is writing fictitious petitions, but since Okpo has nothing to hide, such reports have remained in government's trash bins.
“The Transport Ministry and other government agencies cannot be deceived by the antics of these petition writers.
“We urge Oron elders to call the ‘rampaging’ youths to order because the academy is not theirs, but for Nigerians, though located in Oron territory.”
It said more classrooms, staff quarters, male and female hostels, and administrative blocks, had been built in phase two and three of the academy, under Okpo's watch.
The statement said there had been upgrade of facilities and training of the academy's teaching and non-teaching staff in line with internationally-accepted standards for such a specialised institution.
According to the statement, it is perhaps these achievements recorded in a short time of four years that President Buhari saw and reappointed him (Okpo) as rector for another four years.
It added that before Okpo's appointment as rector, two communities were having communal clashes and it got to the peak just about the period he resumed.
The statement noted that, “The Akwa lbom Government tried to settle the warring communities but could not and the entire indigenes of the community where the school is situated fled and have not returned till date.”
It explained that this was despite the fact that it took a man like Okpo to bring the warring communities together at peace meetings held inside the school.
“Okpo at a time got the seventh National Assembly Committee on Marine Transport- the Senate and House of Representatives to visit the academy at different times.
“At the end of the visits, the National Assembly approved a budget for the academy to handle its security challenges, as well as for ensuring a balance in the area of employment and contract awards to the communities.
“Interestingly, the OYM was one of the beneficiaries of the local content issue in diverse ways.
“A good number of their (OYM) candidates were employed and they also handled some projects in line with the resolutions of the peace meeting.
“So, any petition from OYM alleging the contrary is simply a product of mischief.” (NAN)
•Photo shows Maritime Academy, Oron.
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