By Obio Monday

A group known as Efik Leadership Foundation has petitioned the Director General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRPHDPA) over the employment of non-indigenes at the detriment of southern Cross River State in the ongoing process for the employment of health workers in the state.

The petition which was sighted by our correspondent is titled “PETITION AGAINST BIASED EMPLOYMENT AND INCLUSION OF NON-INDIGENES INTO THE PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY RECRUITMENT TO THE DETRIMENT OF SOUTHERN SENATORIAL DISTRICT INDIGENES” was jointly signed by Mr. Richard Duke and Mr. Timothy Esu accused the agency of flooding the list for southern Cross River with non-indigenes, thereby denying qualified applicants from the area the opportunity.

It reads in full:

Dr. Betta Edu,
Director General,
Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency,
Calabar.

Madam,

PETITION AGAINST BIASED EMPLOYMENT AND INCLUSION OF NON-INDIGENES INTO THE PRIMARY HEALTH CARE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY RECRUITMENT TO THE DETRIMENT OF SOUTHERN SENATORIAL DISTRICT INDIGENES

We are the EFIK LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION with global membership and having our base in Calabar as also stated above, a not for-profit and non-political organisation operating as a Charitable Incorporated Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) operating a Social Enterprise model and dedicated towards making social impact within the Efik community.
We refer to the above caption and bring to the fore the following points of grave concern as it affects our people who are major stakeholders in the scheme of things in Cross River State:

1. It would be recalled that the Governor of Cross River State, Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade approved the recruitment of 1,000 primary health workers as part of efforts to improve health care delivery in the State. That move, we also believe, was geared towards engaging the brimming and unutilized workforce among indigenes of the State.

2. According to Dr. Betta Edu, Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRPHCDA) who made this known, “The objective is to fill the existing gaps and improve healthcare delivery in the state. The agency is committed to a transparent process based on merit. This is healthcare and we cannot afford to play nepotism or politics with health. All applicants will go through examination and interview. Successful candidates will be published online in (sic) our website.”

3. However, information obtained from the said website showed a list of successful candidates segmented into the three Senatorial Districts of the State. More particularly, those listed among the Southern Senatorial District have been found to be people who obviously are not from Cross River State and some not from the Senatorial District showing that quota meant for indigenes of the Area have been given out to others.

4. The Southern Senatorial District comprising of seven (7) Local Government Areas namely: Akpabuyo, Akamkpa, Bakassi, Biase, Calabar Municipality, Calabar South and Odukpani have name distinctiveness as with other parts of the State and Country. Therefore it became curious that names not local to the Area were found listed among those from Southern Senatorial District.

5. It was when most of our indigenes who applied for the job as publicized brought to our notice that their names did not appear among the successful candidates instead those of non-indigenes and those perceived to be from other areas of the State dotted the list. Perhaps the idea of not playing nepotism or politics in the recruitment exercise was to use such devices to shortchange well qualified indigenes of the Southern Senatorial District particularly those of Efik extraction as in our view the exercise was not a national programme to include outsiders nor can a particular area be said to completely lack required workforce.

6. While we do not intend to play politics or nepotism and will not support mediocrity of any kind with a sector as sensitive as the health sector, we wonder if those non-indigenes were better qualified than indigenes so excluded and if the enlistment was open to them as well.
In light of the aforementioned facts, our unprejudiced demands are as follows:
That the process of selection that saw to the enlistment of non-indigenes be made known publicly to clear all doubts as there are indications that those shortlisted are from the paternal ethnic and familial extraction of the Director General.

That a possible review be made to ensure that qualified indigenes of the Southern Senatorial District who were deprived of the employment through the exercise are rightfully given the opportunity to serve their homeland.
That the CRPHCDA should suspend the recruitment and selection process with the aim of looking into the concerns outlined above.
That the CRPHCDA should produce of a list of all the applicants from the Southern Senatorial District including their qualifications and local government areas of origin.
That the CRPHCDA should produce a shortlisting grid with the names, local government areas of origin and residential addresses of shortlisted candidates as captured on the CVs submitted to show they are resident in any of the seven (7) LGAs of the Southern Senatorial District as against those qualified indigenes that were not shortlisted. It would also suffice if the CRPHCDA produce the recruitment notes that justified the lopsided shortlisting process.

That the CRPHCDA should make available the list of members of the selection board considering the fact that it was meant to be a purely Cross River State recruitment.
We are asking for the names of the shortlisted non-indigenes be withdrawn and replaced with the names of qualified indigenes from the seven (7) Southern Senatorial District Local Government Areas.
These petitions we make with the understanding that we are entitled to a say and appropriate response in the current democratic dispensation especially where there is perceived grievance in order to obtain remedy for a better and inclusive Cross River State where no section is left behind in favour of outsiders.

Furthermore, we are petitioning on the presumption that everyone applicant should be shortlisted from their zone of origin not residency.
While still keeping with our mandate to promote good governance in our State, we expect a response from you soonest as failure to meet with the above demands will lead to widespread protest and likely court action.
Attached herewith are lists of applicants from the Southern Senatorial District and respective local government areas of origin shortlisted for the interview with the various categories of job descriptions obtained from the CRSPHCDA website.

Sincerely,

On behalf of Efik Leadership Foundation,
Richard E. Duke, Timothy A. Esu Esq.
•Chairman, Board of Trustees.​ •Chairman, Good Governance Committee

Cc: Rt. Hon. John-Gaul Lebo,
Honourable Speaker,
Cross River State House of Assembly,
House of Assembly Complex,
Calabar.

Dr Inyang Asibong Udeme
Honourable Commissioner for Health
Dr Joseph Adim Bassey
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Health

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