By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Arewa Youths Elites Forum has warned detractors against any form of antagonizing the Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Zaria, Dr. EN. Okpara, vowing that such moves will be resisted.
This was expressed in a statement jointly signed by Alh. Ismail Jamilu, Mal. Aminu Idris, Comrade Abdullahi Yahaya, Alh. Inusa Mubarak, Mr. Zakariyya Ndakotsu, Mr. Rasaki Abubakar, Hajia Hadiza Ali Rijiyan Lemu and Mrs. Magdaline Bitrus, made available to AUTHENTIC News Daily on Sunday, urging security agencies to apprehend such trouble makers.
“A perfect definition of Dr E.N Oparah is fairness, equity and just to all. On her assumption into office as Ag. Director General in July 2016, several distractive mechanisms were put into play masterminded by selfish, gullible and shallow minded fellows in the name of concerned individuals who have sought for personal aggrandizement or favors and was declined because it was contrary to the law.
“They ganged and felt the best way to take revenge was to antagonize her and get her distracted from executing developmental projects which was never done by her predecessors over 20 years,” they said.
They explained that the Arewa Youth Elites Forum is no longer a new name in the North and one of their constitutional mandate is to ensure an enabling environment for all and sundry irrespective of political, religious or tribal affiliation.
“Late Sardauna of Sokoto and premier of Northern Nigeria, Late Sir Tafawa Balewa worked in the interest of Northern Nigeria irrespective of tribe or religion.
“As we all know, all religious faith preaches love, equity, justice and fairness to all devoid of any personal sentiments,” they submitted.
They said that with the previous shortcomings of past Chief Executives of the same institutions, the same detractors never complained or queried them because they sought for personal favors which were granted even if laws were to be broken.
“Today, we are proud to say that we took interest in investigating the acclaimed accusations of the group and found out that she was antagonized by the same group of people who were always in the habit of interfering in leadership and governance of institutions within the four walls of Zaria.
“They tried same agenda in neighboring institutions within Zaria in the past few years and failed because they were not fighting a good course,” they added.
The group said that the academic acumen and administrative experience is superb as Dr. Oparah rose through the ranks from Lecturer III in the then Federal College of Chemical and Leather Technology (CHELTECH) and the most Senior Director, now Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) on 24th July, 1994 to the post of Chief Lecturer and Director from where she was appointed Acting Director-General/CEO on July, 2016.
“You would agree with me that 25 Years of conventional promotion, hard work and administrative responsibilities viz-a-viz academic growth is more than enough to earn a civil servant the position of a Director General in any Institution.
“It is a pity that they don’t understand the principle of Federal Character they claim should be adhered to. The same people were given opportunities in the past during recruitments and they brought their concubines relatives who were Christains as against their own people they claim to be fighting for.
” Dr Oparah since her assumption have employed very reasonable number of staff from the said host community which is the first of its kind,” they stressed.
They informed that stakeholders including traditional institutions were ably represented and it baffles them why some miscreants would hide under the umbrella of a traditional body to attack the personality of Dr Oparah. “We would not allow this I must say.”
They further said that no to intimidation, distraction, miscreants and shallow mindedness would distract them.
“Our call today is for all and sundry be it individuals, groups, traditional or religious leaders to stay away from fomenting trouble as we as a Northern body would not hesitate to expose any group trying to destabilize the peace His Excellency Mal Nasiru Ahmad el-Rufai is working tirelessly to maintain.
“Power belongs the Almighty and I say today that as they have failed in other institutions previously so shall they fail again and again and again.
“Kaduna State as Centre of Learning belongs to all and no man should claim ownership of what he doesn’t own. Nigeria is ours and Nigeria we serve,” they stated.
The group called on the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to take urgent steps to end the quagmire.
“That the overseer of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology should as a matter of urgency solve this puzzle by confirming the appointment of Dr. E. N Oparah.
“That decisive action should be taken against any miscreant who is tries to incite violence and destabilize the peace of NILEST and Zaria as a whole by the Ag Director General in collaboration with the Security agencies.
“That the good people of Zazzau Emirate as Host community be aware that these myopic minded individuals are just detractors who are out to foment trouble and incite violence in our minds,” they concluded.