Traditional Rulers from Oron in Akwa Ibom State have threatened to place a traditional injunction or curse on members of two youth groups in the area over their involvement in the long running leadership crisis at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, in Oron.
The two groups, Oro Nation Amalgamated Force, ONAF, and Oro Youth Movement, OYOM, have been in the forefront of campaign against the renewal of tenure for MAN rector, Dr Joshua Okpo, by the federal government.
In a release by the paramount ruler of Oron and chairman, Oron Traditional Rulers Council, Offong Odiong Akan, at the weekend in Uyo, the royal fathers expressed displeasure over the tension caused by the activities of the youths in the running of the academy.
“We are aware of the antics of hate campaigns by some ill-informed, misguided, and sponsored youths, especially the latest online publication by one Francis Otioro under the guise of Oro Nation Amalgamated Force and Oro Youth Movement, OYOM, to drag the hard earned image of the rector in the mud, using falsehood and character assassination.
“The royal fathers would not fold their arms and watch disgruntled elements destroy the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, the only federal presence in Oron nation; and we may be tempted to invoke traditional curse upon recalcitrant youths and their co-travellers.
“Under his four year tenure, he has been able to pull the academy from the jaw and shackle of underdevelopment and ethnic trapping, provision of 24-hours power and water supply; the academy now enjoys improved and enhanced hostel facilities for male and female cadets; the procurement, installation and fully operation of state-of-the-art stimulator for practical training of cadets and staff, ICT equipment, completion of inherited capital projects, prudent management of resources, priority attention to staff welfare and constituted the host Community Relation Committee,” It said.
“We are appealing to the federal government to procure a training ship for the academy and enable its cadets experience sea time. We also appeal to the Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to increase its funding to the academy from the current five percent to at least 10 to assist in addressing challenges plaguing the academy.”