BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI
PORT HARCOURT— Concerned stakeholders have faulted Wednesday’s recruitment exercise carried out for prospective teachers in Rivers State by the state’s Ministry of Education.
A rights group, Nigeria Democratic Awareness Forum, NDAF, yesterday, alleged highjack of the exercise by influential political officeholders in the state, who it claimed, moved behind the scene, noting that the situation was capable of rubbishing the merit in results of the test contracted to Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
On the group’s assessment of the exercise, Publicity Secretary of NDAF, Mr. Frank Anwusonye, said: “The Education Ministry may not admit it, but politicians have hijacked the process. They have shared a chunk of the available slots among themselves and their favoured candidates are being imposed on the ministry for automatic selection no matter how bad they performed in aptitude test.”
The group, said it drafted its men across the various recruitment test centres in Port Harcourt to monitor the exercise, described as dehumanising, the idea of dragging all candidates from every area of the state to take the selection examination, considering that some candidates from very remote areas, particularly the waterways, had to come a day before, facing accommodation and feeding challenges.
It said that by the imposition of application fee of N1500 on each candidate, the ministry had resorted to “extortion and stress, which denied several eligible candidates, who could not afford the expenses the benefit of competing for the job spaces.”
“We believe that the Wednesday’s exercise as conducted gave room for infiltration of hundreds of non indigenes of the state into the system. We are calling on the state House of Assembly to investigate the true identity of the applicants to ensure that what is meant for our people was not mortgaged to outsiders under any form of inducement.”