#Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike ordered yesterday the sack of 344 lecturers and others employed for the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori-Ogoni, the headquarters of Khana Local Government Area.
The teachers were employed by the Rotimi Amaechi administration last September.
The governor also disbanded the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV). His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, confirmed TIMA-RIV’s disbandment. TIMA-RIV was put in place by Amaechi, shortly after he became governor on October 26, 2007.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the polytechnic , Innocent Ogbonna, confirmed the sack of the lecturers.
Ogbonna also disclosed that the Rector of the Institution, Obianko Elechi, began his terminal leave two weeks ago on the instruction of the state government.
Ogbonna said: “The recent employment exercise we had at the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori has been cancelled. The process used in employing them was such that the government needs to review. As we speak now that process has already been terminated by the incumbent government.
“As it stands now, they don’t have any job with the Polytechnic now; that is the truth, moreso when they are yet to start work before the process was dissolved.”
On the sack of 344 lecturers and other workers of the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori, Wike’s media adviser said: “Their employment did not follow due process, done in a hurry and fraught with irregularities. Until the irregularities are cleared, they remain sacked. The Rector of Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori was asked to proceed on compulsory leave, because of official misconduct and being investigated. The rector must be on compulsory leave, pending the outcome of the investigations.”
Inko-Tariah, while reacting to Wike’s disbandment of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV), put in place by the Amaechi’s administration, said: “TIMA-RIV officials were constituting nuisance and extorting money from Rivers people, leading to accidents and loss of lives of innocent persons. It was a radical departure from what they were asked to be doing. TIMA-RIV will be reconstituted at the appropriate time.”
The Rivers chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, condemned the sacking of the 344 lecturers and others, saying Wike should desist from punishing “innocent Rivers people, in his bid to get at Amaechi”.
APC said: “It is sad to note that Governor Nyesom Wike’s obsession to conduct a vengeful vendetta and reprisal against every good legacy left behind by his predecessor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has now led him to sack 344 lecturers and other staff duly employed by the authorities of the Rivers State Ministry of Education for the services of the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori.
“The employment of the sacked lecturers and staff by the Amaechi’s administration, which commenced as far back as 2013, followed due process, as they were painstakingly taken through rigorous examinations and documentation, including biometric capture, to ease their working life. The affected lecturers continue to insist that their recruitment followed due process.
“In a most shocking manner, Wike mindlessly directed, through the Rivers State Ministry of Education, that the engagement of the 344 lecturers and other personnel be terminated in one fell swoop, without a thought for what will become of those involved, their families and dependants.
”To confirm that the Rivers governor was out on a vendetta mission, he also directed that the Rector of the Polytechnic, Obiaanko Elechi, should embark on compulsory leave.”
The APC also said Wike planned to sack all non-indigenes recruited as part of the 13,200 teachers by Amaechi’s administration.
APC said: “The worry APC has is not that a thoroughly vindictive fellow chose to embark on a needless mission of vendetta, true to his nature, character and track record, but the party is totally at a loss at how Wike will execute such mindless agenda with so much collateral damage to the existence and livelihood of so many innocent Nigerians, their families and dependants.
”It is important to state that what is unfolding may be God’s own way to expose the fraud that Wike is to the good people of Rivers State, so that all will see what the APC warned about the man, during the last electioneering in the state. We condemn these anti-people developments by the Wike-led caretaker government of Rivers State.”
Inko-Tariah described the alleged plan to sack non-indigenes among the 13,200 teachers recruited by ex-Governor Rotimi Amaechi as the figment of the imagination of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
He said: “Governor Wike does not plan to sack the teachers, indigenes or non-indigenes, who are all residents of Rivers State and have equal rights. The issue has not been discussed.”