The Ebonyi North Elders Consultative Assembly has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari against the siting of the newly approved Federal College of Education in Isu community in Ebonyi South Senatorial District.
In the petition, the group stated that the decision by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) to site the college in the area defeated the principle of fairness, equity and justice.
It argued that two of the three federal tertiary educational institutions in the state had already been sited in Ebonyi south, hence the district did not deserve to have more.
A copy of the petition dated May 29, was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
It was captioned, “An Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria: Petition against the siting of the Federal College of Education (allocated to Ebonyi) at Isu, Onitcha LGA in Ebonyi South Senatorial District.”
The group appealed to Buhari to prevail on federal ministry of education to rescind its decision and revoke the approval for the siting of the college at Isu.
It demanded that the institution be sited in any area in Ebonyi North Senatorial Distric, comprising Izzi, Ohaukwu, Ebonyi and Abakaliki LGAs, in line with the nation’s Federal Character principle.
The assembly, which comprises leaders of thought from the district, commended the president and the National Assembly for approving the establishment of the college in the state.
It said: “We believe that the selection of Ebonyi, alongside four others, was meant to ensure that states that hitherto had no federal tertiary educational institutions were accommodated in line with federal character principle.
“We are, however, disconcerted to note that FME approved that the college be sited at Isu in Onitcha LGA in Ebonyi South.
“This is in contradiction to the principle of fairness, equity and justice, considering the indisputable fact that the district has two of the three federal tertiary institutions in the state, namely Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic and Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu.
“The Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, is located in Ikwo LGA in Ebonyi Central, leaving Ebonyi North without any federal educational tertiary institution.
“Despite far-reaching representations made by various groups, the FME went ahead to approve the siting of the college at Isu community in Ebonyi South, thereby making the district to have three federal educational institutions.”
The group stated that the development could worsen the already skewed distribution of federal tertiary institutions in the state, if not reversed.
According to the group, Ebonyi North may be the only senatorial district in Nigeria without a federal tertiary educational institution.
The petition was signed by 15 members of the assembly, including Prof. Richard Idike, former Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Sen. Chris Nwankwo, Sen. Sylvester Ngele, Rt. Rev Monday Nkwoegu, the Bishop of Abakaliki Anglican Communion.
Others were Rev. Emmanuel Nshii, State Overseer, Assemblies of God Church; Chief Austin Edeze, Chairman, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti; and Eze Fidelis Nwaonumara, Chairman, Izzi/Nnodo Traditional Rulers Council, among others.