Tension is brewing at the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State, over the reported appointment of Mrs. E. Arhagha, a vice-principal, to oversee the running of the institution and the move to appoint a substantive principal of northern origin.
It was gathered that her appointment was contained in a letter dated April 1, 2016, and signed by the Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, a move, they say, negates the institution rules.
But the Public Relations Officer of the institute, Mr. Brown Ukanefemoni, told Southern City News that there was nothing wrong with the appointment as the acting principal of the school, Mr. A. J. Orukele, had retired before her appointment.
Some stakeholders in the institution, who confirmed the disquiet among top management staff, noted that they were worried that the vacuum created by the exit of the acting principal of the school, Mr. A. J. Orukele, in April, 2016, had not been filled.
The aggrieved stakeholders alleged that the senior directors were eliminated in the consideration for the appointment of the vice principal and in the ongoing scheme to appoint a substantive head for the institute.
They expressed worries that the ongoing interview to pick a substantive principal restricted certain categories of officers of the institute from applying for the top job.
It was gathered that the latest interview held in Abuja, in which 16 persons applied for job, was designed to clear the way for a candidate of northern origin to emerge.
One of the sources, who did not want his name in print, said, “It has been found that the new drive for a principal would seek to ban certain category of officers from applying for the job.
“For whatever it is worth in the reasoning of the powers-that-be, this caveat is not only unjust, unfair, but makes a laughing stock of the entrenched fundamental human rights provision in the Nigerian Constitution and an affront to the cherished wish of any public servant to aspire to the highest level.”
Their fears was further compounded by the recent appointment of one Mr. A. S. K. Taminu from the northern axis of the country, as the registrar of the institute, a situation that didn’t go down well with aggrieved management staff.
In reaction to the allegation, the institution’s spokesperson, Mr. Brown Ukanefemoni, said while they awaited the appointment of a substantive principal, Mrs. Arhagha was only on acting basis until a new board was appointed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
He also dismissed the notion that Mr. Taminu had been appointed as registrar noting that he was only acting following the retirement of former registrar, Mrs. S. Ewere, on March 2, 2016.