By; PATRICK TiTUS, Uyo
Oro youth in Akwa Ibom State, Wednesday, staged a protest over the composition of a 6-member Interim Management Committee (IMC) set up by Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi to run the affairs of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron for six months.
The youth, under the auspices of Akpakip Eyo Abasie Youth Association, grumbled about the action of the Minister, saying the Committee was setup without a single representative of the host community.
Expressing their anger during the protest at Academy, the Association President, Baron Iniekung who led the protest said that the host community has not only rejected the six-man IMC, but also demanded that the academy be upgraded to the much expected maritime university.
Iniekung, also said the Oro Youth have also rejected the appointment of someone outside the host community as Rector of the Academy.
According to him, “It is very disheartening to note that as a prominent indigene of the Niger Delta, Chibuike Amaechi who should have treated us fairly and just, now turns to maltreat us and work against our collective interest as a people.
“We are further surprised by the recent action of the Minister which is not only unfair but unpatriotic and contrary to his earlier stated commitment to develop the academy to a world-class institution.
“We strongly view this action as a calculated attempt by the Minister to strangulate the only federal institute in Oron to the detriment of the stakeholders in the maritime subsector and the host community,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the host community of the Academy, stakeholders in maritime sector, and youth groups, have also condemned the newly the establishment of IMC. They added that by establishing the IMC, it appeared as if there was an emergency situation in the academy, which needed to be addressed through crude means.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by representatives of three groups: Oro Nation Patriotic Elders Forum with its chairman, Chief Effiakedoho Antai and secretary, Offong Ekpaha.
Others are Forum of Non-Indigenes president, Yakubu Umar; secretary, Wale Adekunle, and director of media, Chukwuma Obiora; Concerned Youth Advocacy Group of Oro president, Mr. Joseph Attah and secretary, Mr. Anthony Uweh.
It would be recalled that the Minister, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi on the 6th of this month, inaugurated a six-man Interim Management Committee headed by Chief Adebayo Sarumi and appointed Mr. Duja Effedua as Acting Rector of MAN, Oron.