The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICREL), has condemned in its entirety the outcome of the recruitment exercise conducted by the Petroleum Equalization Fund Management Board (PEF (M) Board) in 2020, wherein out of the 200 persons that were hired, only 17 persons are from the oil producing states of the Niger Delta region.
The group observed that the development indicates that only 8.5 percent of the total 200 are from the oil and gas producing states of the region.
Consequently the group has called asked the chairman, Petroleum Equalization Fund Management Board, Ahmed Bobbai to reverse what it tagged as lopsided employment or resign immediately. .
Prince Cyprian Godknows, Executive Director of the group in a statement on Saturday, said it was dismayed by this lopsided exercise as it is an unfair representation, especially as the people of Niger Delta have been shortchanged and denied their quota.
The statement reads:
NICREL is even more amazed that the Executive Secretary of PEF (M) Board, Ahmed Bobbai, wrote to the Federal Character Commission, FCC, Abuja, in March 2020, asking for waiver not to advertise the existing vacancies. This is the highest level of irresponsibility by a Senior Executive officer of a federal Agency like PEF (M) Board.
NICREL wish to state that as people who suffer environmental degradation and pollution, and who have lost their sources of livelihood as a result of oil exploration in their region, the people of Niger Delta should have been given special consideration and priority from PEF (M) Board, above people from the other regions during the recruitment exercise.
We categorically state that this recruitment exercise totally violates the spirit of Federal Character principles. This is because while oil producing states such as Akwa Ibom got only 2 slots, Bayelsa 4, Cross-River 2, Delta 3, Edo 0, Ondo 0 and Rivers 2, the non-oil producing states such as Adamawa got 16, Bauchi 9, Borno 13, Kano 19, Katsina 14 in the recruitment exercise. We wonder what formula the PEF (M) Board under Ahmed Bobai adopted to arrive at those ridiculous figures for oil producing states of the Niger Delta.
NICREL wish to state further that this action carried out by PEF (M) Board under Ahmed Bobai is capable of reigniting violence and militancy in the Niger Delta region. Ahmed Bobai must not be allowed to throw the region into violence which will in turn, give the president Mohammadu Buhari administration a bad name.
We therefore demand that Ahmed Bobai reverses the lopsided recruitment which is even a clear breach of the embargo on recruitment by Mr. President. He should also resign his position as the Executive Secretary of the PEF (M) Board, failure of which NICREL will be left with no option than to occupy the Presidential villa as well as the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), to demand for his (Bobai’s) removal from office.
And as we await an expedited action to this directive, we pray that justice, fairness and equity would be served in this discriminatory recruitment exercise within one week from today.”