President Muhammadu Buhari
Ebonyi North senatorial zone of Ebonyi has kicked against the siting of the newly approved Federal College of Education (FCE) at Isu community in Onitcha local government area, in the Ebonyi South senatorial district of the state.
The zone through its leaders, Ebonyi North Elders Consultative Assembly (ENECA) in a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, described the decision of FME to site the college in the area as contradictory to the principles of fairness, equity and justice.
The group argued that the zone had gotten two of three existing federal tertiary educational institutions established in the state as as such did not deserve more.
The petition was contained in an open letter addressed to Mr President and dated May, 29 a copy was made available to Summitnews on Wednesday in Abakaliki.
The petition was signed by 15 members of the assembly including Prof Richard Idike, former Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University (EBSU); Sen. Chris Nwnakwo, Sen Sylvester Ngele, Rt Rev Monday Nkwoegu, Bishop of Anglican Communion.
Others are ; Rev Emmanual Nshii, State Overseer, Assemblies of God Church, Ebonyi, Chief Austin Edeze, chairman Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Adoekiti, Ekiti state, HRH Fidelis Nwaonumara, chairman, Izzi /Nnodo Traditional Rulers Council among others.
The group appealed to Buhari to prevail on the FME by urging it to rescind its decision and revoke the approval already given for the siting of the college at Isu, Onitcha LGA.
They demanded for the establishment of the institution in any area within the Ebonyi North zone comprising Izzi, Ohaukwu, Ebonyi and Abakaliki local government areas in line with of federal character principles .
The letter was captioned, ‘An Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari, President Federal Republic of Nigeria: Petition Against The Siting Of Federal College Of Education (Allocated To Ebonyi) At Isu, Onitcha LGA, In Ebonyi South Senatorial District.’
The assembly made up of leaders of thought from the four local governments that make up the district commended Mr President and the National Assembly for approving the establishment of a federal college of the education in the state.
The petition read: “We, members of the Ebonyi North Elders Consultative Assembly appreciate Mr President and the National Assembly for approving the establishment of a federal tertiary institution for the state.
” We believe that the selection of Ebonyi alongside four others was meant to ensure that states that hitherto had no federal tertiary educational institutions were accommodated in line with federal character principles.
“We are, however disconcerted to note that the Federal Ministry of Education has approved that the college be sited at Isu in Onitcha local government area, in Ebonyi South senatorial district .
“This is in contradiction to principles of fairness, equity and justice considering the indisputable fact that the zone has two of existing three federal tertiary institutions in the state namely; Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic and Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu.
“The Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike is located in Ikwo local government area in Ebonyi Central senatorial zone leaving Ebonyi North zone without any federal educational tertiary institution .
“Despite far reaching representations made by various groups, the FME still went ahead to approve the siting of the college at Isu community in Onitcha LGA, Ebonyi South zone thereby making the zone to have three federal educational institutions.”
The group said that the development could worsen the already skewed distribution of federal tertiary institutions in the state if it was allowed to subsist adding that the Ebonyi North zone might be the only zone without a federal tertiary institution in Nigeria.
Our correspondent reports that Ebonyi comprises 13 LGAs including Afikpo North, Afikpo South, Onitcha, Ohaozara and Ivo LGAs all located in the Ebonyi South zone.
Ebonyi central district comprises; Ikwo, Ezza South, Ezza North and Ishielu while North zone comprises the Izzi speaking people of; Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Izzi and Ohaukwu LGAs.
Summitnews also recalls that the Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Uwana in Afikpo North and Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu in Ivo LGA were established long before the advent of the current democratic dispensation.