Fubara: Why We Rejected The Employment Process At Ajuru

Fubara: Why We Rejected The Employment Process At Ajuru

By Elem Kash
Governor Siminalayi Fubara bares his mind on the suspension of  the employment exercise carried  out at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
The Rivers State Government has explained why it threw the employment process which took place at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education into the thrash can.
Governor, Siminalayi Fubara who spoke through the Head of Service, Dr George Nweke when a group of protesters visited Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday said the entire exercise was bastardized.
But he affirmed that the employment process at the Ignatius Ajuru University which was cancelled due to intolerable irregularities, will be revisited.

A new governing council has now been put in place, the Governor hinted, to oversee the process and ensure that the irregularities that hampered the previous process are eliminated.

According to him, the administration decided to throw what was done overboard in order to ensure that the right thing is done, saying that the institution’s manage-ment contravened government’s directive.

The management of the institution was directed, based on its request, to employ only 867 staff.

A breakdown  of the figures show that of that number, 420 persons were initially to be recruited as academic staff.

The Governor however regretted that the institution employed 1,900 persons. Of that number, only 123 instead of 420 originally agreed were engaged as academic staff.

“Now, during the exercise, they brought the list of the number of people that were to be payrolled”, he explained.

“When we looked at it, we saw that they have reduced every person as if they were casual workers.

“When we also looked at it, the non-academic staff were now three times the approved number.

“The academic staff that were brought to us to pay were less than a hundred persons. Prima-facie, the main essence of university is teaching. So, we cannot do without lecturers”, the Governor stressed.

Noting that only qualified and competent persons will be employed, Fubara urged the protesters to organise themselves properly so that it will be easy to interface with them when the employment  process starts again.

“We have a limited number of people that we advertised to employ. But the institution went above that number and took more people.

“However, it is for you now to form yourselves into an organised group with a leadership, so, we can show you what we have.

“The best case scenario is that now, we have a governing council in place. I don’t know what their immediate plans are but I know that they need lecturers and non-academic staff. That is where we are going to start.

“There are many opportunities that will come to every Rivers person and all residents under this new government,” he assured.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Mr Valentine Kponi Barinedum, recalled how they applied for the positions which were advertised.

Inline imageRepresentative of Rivers State Governor and Head of Service, Dr George Nwaeke, addressing protesters affected by the cancellation of the employment exercise of the Ignatius Ajuru University at the Government House gate in Port Harcourt, on Monday, March 11, 2024.

The management of the institution was directed, based on its request, to employ only 867 staff.

A breakdown  of the figures show that of that number, 420 persons were initially to be recruited as academic staff.

The Governor however regretted that the institution employed 1,900 persons. Of that number, only 123 instead of 420 originally agreed were engaged as academic staff.

“Now, during the exercise, they brought the list of the number of people that were to be payrolled”, he explained.

“When we looked at it, we saw that they have reduced every person as if they were casual workers.

“When we also looked at it, the non-academic staff were now three times the approved number.

“The academic staff that were brought to us to pay were less than a hundred persons. Prima-facie, the main essence of university is teaching. So, we cannot do without lecturers”, the Governor stressed.

Noting that only qualified and competent persons will be employed, Fubara urged the protesters to organise themselves properly so that it will be easy to interface with them when the employment  process starts again.

“We have a limited number of people that we advertised to employ. But the institution went above that number and took more people.

“However, it is for you now to form yourselves into an organised group with a leadership, so, we can show you what we have.

“The best case scenario is that now, we have a governing council in place. I don’t know what their immediate plans are but I know that they need lecturers and non-academic staff. That is where we are going to start.

“There are many opportunities that will come to every Rivers person and all residents under this new government,” he assured.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Mr Valentine Kponi Barinedum, recalled how they applied for the positions which were advertised.

He noted that they were duly interviewed, engaged and eventually worked in the said school for nine months before government read the riot act.

“As Ignatius Ajuru staff, we are here today, we are crying to the governor. If he has said he is the governor of the people, he should make us feel his impact, call us back and pay us. And that is our sole demand.

“We are here today to plead with you to, please, consider us. We believe that you are going to do the right thing. Please, we are begging you, call us back and pay us our nine months,” he pleaded.

 

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