Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State has stated that the appointment of 5,000 teachers recruited last year was terminated because the exercise was characterised with ‘monumental’ fraud and irregularities.
According to him, his administration uncovered the illicit activities of a syndicate that was behind the issuance of fake appointment letters to thousands of unqualified applicants.
Udom also cautioned that his government would not allow room for sentiments in ensuring that the right decisions were made in the interest of the people of the State.
In a statement issued, the governor said following the unsuccessful attempts to manage the situation, he found it necessary to cancel the recruitment because of the lapses noticed in the foundation of the recruitment process.
The statement continued: “Even the bible says if the foundation is not right, what can the righteous man do? We have tried to see how we could get something out of that recruitment process, but believe me, the foundation was very faulty.
“If we are putting people to teach our children, please let us leave sentiments apart and go for the right people. We need to make sure they went through the right process and have the right qualifications.”
He however urged the 5,000 ‘affected’ persons to re-apply in the subsequent recruitment exercise, adding that they stand a better chance of being employed should they meet the basic requirements of teaching.
“It was discovered that the syndicate which had since been apprehended was involved in printing fake letters of appointment and fake school certificates at outrageous amounts ranging from 150,000 to 200,000 naira.
“We are assuring the 5,000 people that they need not worry, when we are calling for aptitude test, you need not re-apply, just walk into the venue of the exercise with that appointment letter and justify that you are qualified to teach our children,” he stated.
The governor maintained that those making the noise over the cancellation were likely those with the fake appointment letters, insisting that anyone qualified with a school certificate would always be ready to defend his qualification.