The Kogi State Commissioner For Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, has described as absolute falsehood a report making the rounds in some section of some online media that Governor Yahaya Bello has reportedly ordered the sack of teachers who are not supporters of the All Progressives Congress.
The Commissioner spoke in a statement he issued to newsmen on Thursday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
Jones described the news as fake, baseless and a figment of the imagination of unscrupulous individuals masquerading under the guise of opposition with the intention to create disaffection amongst teachers and workers in the State.
The Commissioner said as a matter of fact, the State Government is about releasing the list of 1,500 successful applicants to be employed as teachers in the State Secondary Schools in the first phase of an ongoing recruitment exercise for teachers, describing the report as one from the pit of hell.
The Commissioner explained that it would interest the authors of the sponsored report to note that in the just concluded transparent exercise carried out to recruit teachers in the State, nobody was asked to show his or her party membership card, “whether he is APC or PDP, rather, for everybody that was interviewed, what mattered was whether the applicant possessed the requisite qualification to be a teacher in the State or not”.
He described the misinformation as one too many by the opposition, saying the report was not only illogical, but also one laced with lies and vendetta, while wondering why the opposition would go so low to paint the State Government black for no just cause.
The Commissioner said at no time was any directive issued to Local Government Chairmen as contained in the report to compile names of teachers not sympathetic to the APC, noting that the present administration was one that had placed premium on recruitment and improvement of the welfare of teachers and workers in general.
While pointing out that just recently the leadership of National Union of Local Government Employees and Nigeria Labour Congress in the State publicly commended the State Government for the release of promotion, payment of promotion arrears for teachers and other workers benefits in the state, he described those behind the misinformation as enemies and agents of Lucifer whose trade in stock was to cause destruction and disaffection amongst the peace loving teachers and workers in the State.
Jones was emphatic that no compilation of names of teachers as falsely claimed by the mischief makers was ever contemplated, adding that the present administration of Governor Bello was one that had better repositioned the education sector to the admiration of the people since the creation of the State.
He said: “In the last seven years under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, we made the building and renovation of primary schools across the State a top priority. The GYB Model Science Secondary Schools across the State are another signature of the Gov. Bello administration that has remained a watershed in the state’s education history.
“In the area of technical and vocational education, the State has reawakened all the moribund Technical Colleges in the State. The Technical Colleges in Idah and others have been renovated, remodelled and are nearing completion with the aim of reawakening technical and vocational education.”
The Education Commissioner noted with nostalgia the establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, an institution he said had become the flagship amongst State-Owned Universities in Nigeria, while reiterating that the malicious report of Bello ordering the sack of teachers not sympathetic to APC was not only spurious, but also “stands logic on its head”.
While querying the yardstick the authors of the malicious report used to determine teachers not sympathetic to APC as claimed, the Commissioner described Governor Bello as a democrat who would not muzzle any citizen of the State over their choice of political affiliation.
“The good works of Governor Yahaya Bello acknowledged all over the country in the repositioning of the education since the State history is enough to convince the teachers and other citizens of the State on who to vote for in the forthcoming general election,” he said.
The Commissioner called on newsmen to always cross-check their facts before publishing, noting that balanced and unbiased reportage was the way to go in modern democracy.
Hon. Jones maintained that the State had no uncleared list anywhere after the Successful staff audit carried out years ago aimed at arm-twisting civil servants to do its bidding or be sacked.
The Commissioner expressed optimism that with the unprecedented achievements, in terms of human capital and infrastructure by Bello, he was confident that the APC would win overwhelmingly in all the forthcoming elections.
“Kogi State is an APC State by virtue of good governance under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello,” he noted.