Delta State: Protest Rocks College Of Education, Mosogar Over Alleged Marginalization Of Indigenes In Appointment Of Principal Officers
Commercial activities were crippled in the quite Mosogar Kingdom, Ethiope west local government area of Delta State, following a protest by Indigenes over what they termed as "gross marginalization" of the host community in the appointment of principal officers into the College of Education.
The protesters hinted that over the last 18 years of the existence of College of Education, they have been sidelined from participating in key offices as done in other communities hosting higher or tertiary institutions in the country.
Since the inception of the school, union activities and some non-indigenes in the school, have always used their union to thwart every effort of the kingdom to produce a substantive provost of the College.
According to them, the recent one, is the case of Dr. Moses Omayuli an indigene, who came first in the interview for provost, only for the Governing Council Chairman Rt. Hon. Lovette Idisi, to disqualified him, due to a protest letter filed by the school union, on age basis.
The same set of individuals, where there when Dr. Daniel D. Whawo and Prof. Emmanuel Ojeme, the immediate past provost, were appointed even when they were older as at the point of their appointment.
They argued that for the first time, their candidate should be allowed to run the affairs of the school as the host community and as a qualified and bonafide indigene of Mosogar.
According to the protesters, "Mosogar kingdom is appealing to the Executive Governor of Delta State Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to look into this injustice melted out on the host community.
"Mosogar kingdom stand for peace. Mosogar kingdom stand for justice", as they carried placards with various inscriptions.
Mr. Isaac Efe Akpomemiyere, stated that he presumed that one of the members of the governing council is from Mosogar and other political leaders from the town should be used to speed the appointment without delay, insisting that in Agbor, Warri and the University of Benin, Edo State, Indigenes are given priority.
Another respondent, Mr. Emadebor Oghenero Benedict, hailed the protesters for their doggedness "Nice one. Mosogar political leaders should do their home work now and put a call across to the Governor to do the appointment normal PDP patterns".
Also, Uwegba Andrew, said: "This is very good, we have so many graduate in the land that can hold so many vital position in the school, even as far as been a lecturer but they won't instead they will bring non-indigens for the important positions and we will be left with the minor positions.
"I bet you if you give some of this vital position to some of the intelligent youths that are graduates, you will see that the school will progress more than the way it is now because it will be their pain to make sure the school moves forward because by then they will be part of the school but what we are seeing today is the other way round".
But in a swift reaction, the State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, in a telephone conversation, hinted that a level playing ground was accorded to all applicants, pointing out that for the position under contest, it was pegged at 60 years even as he noted that the state government's regulations do not permit second term or tenure elongation or extension.
Hear him: "All higher institutions in the state belongs to government and by extension, belongs to all Deltans. Every Deltan from wherever he or she is, is qualified to apply if that position is advertised. Recently, the position was vacant and it was advertised on two national dailies and applications were received.
"In every institution of higher learning in Nigeria, in placing an advert for the position of any principal officer, we say somebody beyond a particular age at the time of resumption of duty need not to apply and in this instance case, 60 years was the limit. And for the principal officer position, in Delta State and in other higher institutions of learning in Nigeria, it is a single tenure of five years.
"So, their crying again is that the bursar who happens to be an indigene but he was not employed. The bursar of the College of Education Mosogar, was not employed by the Governing Council of the institution because he is an indigene but because he was qualified, he applied from Agbor, as I speak to you, he is a staff of the College of Education, Agbor.
"So, he has completed five years and we say go back to Agbor, and he said no he must remain there. For God sake the institution is not Mosogar Grammar school or community school. It is not a private institution, it is a government institution and government has its regulations.
"The government is runnned by regulations and we are all slaves to regulation. The regulation must be implemented to the later. Nobody was marginalized, it was a level playing ground that was provided for everybody who was qualified. And there is no tenure elongation or extension", Prof. Muoboghare, insisted.