The Ebonyi State Government has urged the Association of Heads of Federal Establishments in the state to collaborate with her in ending the marginalisation of the state in national benefits.
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Engr. Jude Okpor, made the call in Abakaliki, the state capital.
He spoke when he addressed the newly-elected executives of the body in his office.
The leaders were in the Commissioner’s office Wednesday on a courtesy call.
Okpor, who lamented the level of marginalisation suffered by Ebonyi people in terms of federal employments and other opportunities, urged the body to collaborate with the state in addressing the anomaly in promotion of the Federal Character principle.
He noted that the makers of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in their wisdom created three tiers of government and backed it up with the principle of Federal Character
Okpor said: “We are calling on you as heads of federal establishments in the state to work with us as partners in progress.
“I want to draw your attention to the issue of federal character principle.
“This is one issue that has continued to agitate the minds of the citizens of this State.
“Our people are seriously marginalised in terms of employment opportunities and other gains at the federal level.
“The state government wants to bring it to your attention because you are in a position that can give you the opportunity to add your voice in this issue of marginalisation.
“When opportunities come for employment, we want you to use your good offices to let the people in charge know that Ebonyi people deserve chances.
“We are a federating unit and we deserve our own fair share of all opportunities, not only employment, coming from the Federal Government.
“We expect from you information in that regard.
“If you give us information about such opportunities, I want to assure you that our Governor will surely take it up.
“That is one of the major ways we can enjoy from the Federal Government’s decision to bring your establishments to the state.”
Leader of the group and the new State Chairman of the Association, Prof. Ama Aka Udu, while addressing the Commissioner, said they were in his office to familiarise themselves with the government.
Udu noted that they chose the Information Ministry as first priority in their familiarisation visit because of its strategic position among other Ministries.
He applauded Governor Francis Nwifuru’s excellent performance so far in the area of security in the state, workers and retirees welfare and general development.
Udu, who is also the State Coordinator, National Open University of Nigeria, urged the Commissioner to redouble his efforts in collaboration with the media to further advance the dissemination of the Governor’s laudable achievements beyond the State.
He said: “Since the Governor assumed office, he has done so many things worth writing, and we need to project them outside here.
“All of us residing in Abakaliki know very well that the security situation is being normalised.
“Is it the payment of pensions that were hanging over the years or the clearing of debts to Ebonyi State University?
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“All these media outlets, VON, NTA, FRCN, Channels, AIT among others should be engaged from time to time to tell the Ebonyi story to the outside world.
“That will help change the erroneous notion about the security situation and other development indices in the State.”
The Chairman was accompanied in the visit by the State Correspondent of the Voice of Nigeria and the State Secretary of the Association, Moses Nwite, among other executive members.