Hundreds of school 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 occurred on Monday during the distribution exercise of the materials to six schools at Government Secondary School Maiduguri by officials 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 aggrieved teachers and principals, mostly from GGS Bama, Vila Secondary School Gwoza, Senior and Junior Secondary Schools Damasak, disrupted the distribution exercise after suspecting that some of the materials were taken out in two Hilux pickups by one Amina Maibe, the Director of Administration of PCNI.
It took the intervention of armed mobile policemen to bring the situation under control.
A principal who preferred anonymity alleged that the teachers and students were shortchanged by the officials, just as he called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
He said each pupil is expected to be given 12 exercise books, drawing book, Maths, English and Agriculture textbooks, cleaner and sharpener, pencils and colour as well as lunch box and water bottle, costing about N15,000 for each student.
“About 900 students were selected to benefit from these six schools but Hajiya cut the number by half (451) and told us that the students given bags by UNICEF will not benefit from the exercise. Also 210 teachers were selected but the PCNI reduced the number 175.
“The teachers were supposed to be given laptops, bags and other materials. But Despite all this, which I believe was done with a motive, more than 70 percent of the teachers and students did not get anything.
“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, said lunch boxes and water bottles were removed from the pupils’ bags.
Mr Mani said the teachers were forced to hold hostage some PCNI staff and force Ms Maibe to return the diverted materials.
“Our colleagues told us they received laptops. So where are our laptops. None of our teachers was given any laptop,” he said.
“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 intervene.
Amina Maibe, the PCNI director of Administration, could not be reach for comment as she did not respond to phone calls and text messages.