Battle over Location of Federal College Lingers in Ebonyi

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Kosisochukwu Anokwuru

In Ebonyi State, the battle over the location of the recently approved Federal College of Education remains hale and hearty.

Report gathered shows that the lingering controversy is fuelled by the proposed site for the location of the Federal College of Education at Isu in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi South Senatorial District.

Recall that since the Federal Government announcement through the Federal Ministry of Education on the siting of the Federal College of Education in Ebonyi South Senatorial District, the Senators representing Ebonyi North and Central Senatorial Districts have been in strong agitation with some stakeholders from their zones; as the North insists that they ought to be the beneficiary, citing marginalisation in such project location in the district, while the Central are bent on attracting the project to itself.

However, amid the agitation, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prof. Bappa-Aliyu Muhammadu, who came on the inspection tour on June 6, 2020, assured that the college would commence learning as soon as renovation works on the temporary site was completed, pending school resumption due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Muhammadu accompanied by the Director of Technical Education, Chimezie Aguiyi, and other team members from the Ministry, further advised Ebonyi stakeholders and the people in general to unite and seek the progress of the Colleges for their benefit, adding that Ebonyi is lucky to have won the College of Education and Federal Science and Technical College at Amuzu in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi Central Senatorial District.

In a swift reaction to the development, a viral letter supposedly signed by the Senate Committee Chairman on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, expressed dissatisfaction that the Minister, despite resolutions reached during the committee’s meeting over contentions by some major Ebonyi State stakeholder on the siting of the College, went ahead to carry out surveillance, after he was duly informed.

The letter urged the Minister who was represented at the meeting by an Assistant Director in the Ministry, to suspend action forthwith, pending the resolution of the lingering disputes by the stakeholders of the State for the interest of peace and fairness.

A snippet of the letter reads: “She was practically directed to inform you to stay action until a decision was reached by the principal stakeholders on the matter on behalf of Ebonyi people.

“She was also directed to inform you of the need to make known your position on the matter to ease the decision of the committee.

“The committee was naturally surprised to notice that further actions, including surveillance of the proposed site was carried out on Saturday, 6th June, 2020.

“Accordingly, the committee now officially writes to urge your Ministry to stay further action on the proposed site in the interest of peace and fairness to the senatorial district and the people of Ebonyi.”

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