Seventy-eight Ebonyi State First Class graduates have called on the state government to come out openly and give the public a proper account of the alleged scholarship given to them.
According to them, the constant radio jingles that said the state government has given all the first-class graduates scholarship are all false from the pit of hell as the only money they received from the state government was N50,000.00 each, to change their wardrobes after the approval of the defunct scholarship.
The Chairman of the first-class graduates, Mr. Chima Idenyi, made the call at the end of their general meeting on Friday.
Counting their losses, Chima said since the pronouncement of the scholarship by the governor, most of them have become jobless while others dropped out of school as they dumped their different jobs thinking the governor will keep to his words.
Idenyi, however, wondered where the government that could not pay approximately 400,000 tuition fee for each of the 78 graduates, will give N1 million each to over 3000 youths in the name of #EndSARS Youth Empowerment Summit.
They also questioned the government to account for the 20,000.00 monthly stipends which was approved in August 2019.
Idenyi said: “Since August 2019, a monthly stipend of 20,000.00 was approved for us but up to date, we have not received anything, we ask, who is squandering the money approved for us?
“The worst of it all is that our family and other sponsors since the pronouncement of the scholarship by Ebonyi State government have stopped contributing to our upkeep thinking that government is taking care of us.
“We are calling on the state government to please cease to announce on radio that they gave us scholarship and tell the public the truth that they brought us up to frustrate us as many of us that are already working has lost our jobs thinking that the government was real.
“We have since 2019 till this time written letters to the permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, nothing happened, we also wrote to the Commissioner for Education, yet nothing happened, we wrote to the secretary to the state government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, yet nothing happened, we wrote to the deputy governor and Governor Umahi, himself, yet he read and did not reply, we also sent messages to him which he read and still fail to reply.
“We wondered why even after visiting the SSG with Commissioner for Education, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, nothing has been done instead they always make the emphasis of giving us scholarship as part of achievement to their government thereby blocking ways for us from benefiting from other good-spirited citizens.
“Three civil Engineers were retrenched from the ministry of Project Monitoring and Evaluation after working with them for 6months with 4months payment of 54.000 each. We called on the government to please pay them their remaining 2months salary before they were disengaged.
“We also want the government to tell us more about the job they secured for about 7 of our members at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“78 of us, our expenses is not more than 400,000.00 each yet the governor claimed to give out youths one million naira each as empowerment.”
The first class graduates further accused Ebonyi State University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, of politicising the last recruitment of staff into the institution.
“The last time the governor asked the VC to recruit staff, he politicised it and recruit even non-First class candidates and abandoned us,” they said.
When contacted, the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, denied knowledge of receiving any letter or meeting with the first-class graduates.
In his words, “There is no written letter giving to this ministry or reminder from the first class graduates. This is a ministry we have procedures to do documentation. So if a group of people said they were giving a scholarship, you can go to a scholarship board to verify.”