Teachers Protest Diversion of PCNI Materials in Borno
Hundred of teachers have protested over alleged diversion of education support materials meant for students and teachers by the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative(PCNI) in Maiduguri.
The incident occured on Monday during a distribution of materials to public schools Maiduguri by the staff of PCNI.
A total of 15,000 students and 1,500 teachers were selected from various schools across Borno state to benefit from the PCNI Educational Support Program.
The protesters mostly teachers and principals from GGS Bama, Vila Secondary School Gwoza, Senior and Junior Secondary School Damasak, were said to have distrupted the distribution exercise after suspecting that some of the materials were taken out in two hilux pickups akkegedly by PCNI Director of Administration, Hajiya Amina Maiba.
It took intervention of Armed Mobile police force to calm the irate teachers.
A Principal of one of the schools who craved anonymity alleged that the teachers and students were shortchanged and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
The pribcipal said: “Each of the pupils were expected to be given 12 exercise books, drawing book, math, english and agriculture text books, cleaner and sharpener, pencils and colour as well as lunch box and water bottle expecting to cost about N15,000 for each of the student.
“About 900 students were selected to benefit from these six schools but Hajiya reduced the number by half (451) and told us that the students who had received bags from UNICEF will not benefit from the exercise. Also 210 teachers were selected but the PCNI reduced the number of beneficiaries to 175.
“Despite the fact that teachers were supposed to be given laptops, bags and other materials, only about 30% of them benefited from the distribution exercise.
“The PCNI came into the school in four vehicle and two other pickups belonging to SEMA dropped some materials and took more than half of it away,” he said.
Another teacher, Tukur Mani who was alleged being shortchanged noted that lunch boxes and water bottle were removed from students bags.
Mani said the teachers were forced to hold some of the PCNI staff to ransom which forced Hajiya Amina to return the diverted materials.
“Our colleagues told us they recieved laptops. So where is our laptops. None of our teachers was given any laptop,” he lamented.
Bukar Mala, another angry teacher said he will be forced to return all the materials given to his students.
“We saw this coming because many teachers from other schools had alleged same treatment by the PCNI. We were told that even the student of slain soldiers were shortchanged by the PCNI.
“They claim to empower about 15,000 students but the question we are asking is that where are the 15,000 students. They are only asking us to give them 30 students. What yardstick are they using for the selection? We urge the government to intervane.
Hajiya Amina Maibe, the PCNI Director Administration, could not be reach for comment as she does not respond to phone calls and text messages.