By David Uka
As the 2019 governorship election draws near in Ebonyi State, the All Progressive Congress, APC governorship candidate, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji has raised an alarm, accusing the Ebonyi State led PDP government of forcing teachers to submit their Permanent Voters Card, PVCs, or forfeit their January Salary.
Ogbuorji in a press statement endorsed by his media aide and made available to news men in Abakaliki said this development is a confirmed move by the Ebonyi state government to bully, manacle the teachers and force them to vote the incumbent governor.
He therefore alerted the Nigeria Police, the DSS, INEC and the Nigeria Union of Teachers in the state about the development.
According to the release, “when this issue broke, the media office of the Ogbuoji Campaign Organization made calls and without disclosing identity to some eight teachers from different primary schools in Abakaliki who confirmed this”.
The teachers said the ultimatum had January 18 as last date of submission and later shifted to January 21, Monday.
He said the teachers who spoke and pleaded that their identities should not be disclosed in order not to endanger their jobs, lamented that it was the suspicion of some of them that doing that would mortgage their conscience in freely voting a candidate of their choice that delayed it ending on Friday.
“One of them, a lady teacher from Onicha LGA said; ‘it is not a secret. We have been under pressure to submit photocopies of our PVCs and the threat is that if we don’t, we won’t receive our January salary. We were mandated to submit photocopies of the PVCs to the head teachers who would send the list and copies to the Education Secretary of Abakaliki. Because of the refusal and delay by some of us, they extended the last date of submission to Monday. As I speak to you, so many have already done that. Only the minority like us that have resisted by refusing to submit still hold the submission to the secretary. In fact, some of us requested a memo that gave the directive which the headmistress said none was given to her, it was a verbal order from the office and we must comply,”
“Also, another call to two secondary school teachers in the same city corroborated the same order.”
According to him, the secondary school teachers said they were issued forms to fill their PVCs numbers by the State Education ministry.