(Investigation) NECO workers condemn appointment of new Registrar- say North short changed


The shocking removal of Professor Abdulrashid Garba as Registrar/Chief Executive of NECO and subsequent replacement with Professor Charles Uwakwe received knocks and condemnation from the entire workforce of the Council, including majority of those from the same geo-political zone with the new Registrar in the country.
New Nigerian gathered that friends and lovers of NECO, as well as the general public joined the staff in mourning what they  described as  unreasonable termination of a tenure that has become the most excellent in the history of the organization.
Sources from NECO who do not want their names published said the new appointment of the Registrar was inimical to the progress of the establishment just as it violates the principle of justice and fair play to the North.
“Disaffection, dissatisfaction and grief were clearly expressed in people’s faces.  This removal and the subsequent replacement was done in bad faith”.
“The immediate past Board Chairman of NECO was from Imo state, the same geo-political zone with the Registrar he worked with.  Now, another appointment going to same geo-political zone of the duo.  This is lopsided and against the spirit of fairness.
“The reason for the workers’ disappointment is not far-fetched.  The fact that the new appointee hails from the same geo-political zone with Professor Promise Okpala, who has served out the statutory two terms of eight years provided by law for their zone showed that the spirit of fairness to other geo political zones in the country was ignored.
“The general disaffection among staff is premised upon the fact that Professor Charles is also of the same academic background with Professor Promise Okpala.  They both belong to the University of Ibadan, Faculty of Education.  He also served under him as an External Monitor for NECO SSCE in Osun State.
“Those close to them have confirmed that they have been very close friends for long, while he is an in-law to one of the Directors who happens to come from the same state with him.
“This same Director was at onetime Special Assistant to Professor Promise Okpala when he was the Registrar.  He was made and confirmed as a Director before the end of Okpala’s regime, in order to cover their rots.”
“All these put together, one is not left in doubt about the genuineness of NECO staff fears and disaffection to this new appointment.
“Professor Promise Okpala’s regime in NECO, without any fear of contradiction, can best be described as the most wasted in the annals of history of NECO’s existence.” He said.
A check by New Nigerian Newspaper showed that Professor Dibu Ojerinde from Oyo State served as NECO registrar in 1999-2007. He served two terms of 4 years each. Professor Promise N. Okpala from Anambra State also served for two terms of four years each, that is from 2007-2015. Professor Monday Joshua from Cross Rivers served for 1 year 19 days before he was dropped.
This shows that NECO had been under the leadership of people from the southern part of the country for 16 consecutive years (four terms of four years each) from inception in 1999 to 2015.
Professor Abdulrashid Garba the only northerner to occupy that (from Kano state) served for only one year and two months and he was removed. In his place another southerner, Professor Charles Uwakwe from Imo State was appointed by the present administration.
“Staff of NECO are angry with the removal of Professor Abdulrashid Garba not just because he was the first and only northerner to occupy that position, but also because of the efforts he had started making in righting the many wrongs perpetrated by his predecessor. For instance, the staff audit recently carried out had helped in exposing a lot of ghost workers in the system.
He established Tenders Board in line with the provisions of Procurement Act.
“He recalled all the competent hands who were hitherto on unwarranted transfer and gave due recognition to labour unions which led to the restoration of industrial peace and harmony in NECO among many other positive measures he took towards restoring the glory of the establishment.
“In fact, Professor Abdulrashid Garba deserves commendation NOT condemnation”, the source said adding that he was supposed to be allowed to complete his tenure in order for him to restore sanity into the system.
The source concluded by calling for the probe of the regime of Professor Okpala with a view to bringing to book anybody found wanting in the perpetration of the gross mismanagement that NECO went through over the years.


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