Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State says he decided to sack 5,000 teachers because his administration uncovered the illicit activities of a syndicate that was behind the issuance of fake appointment letters to thousands of unqualified applicants.
He warned that his administration was not ready to bow to sentiments in ensuring that the right decisions were made in the interest of the people of the State.
Udom, in a statement said after futile attempts to manage the situation, he found it necessary to cancel to recruitment because of the lapses noticed in the foundation of the recruitment process.
“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 said.
For the affected 5,000 persons, Udom said that they stood a better chance of being employed in the subsequent recruitment exercise 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.
He 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.