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Agba Jalingo, Governor Ayade’s Aides Tackle Each Other Over Purported UBEC School Recruitment 

Agba Jalingo characterised the employment as fraudulent, adding that he had forewarned some of the applicants and the public that Governor Ayade was prone to lying and had no intention of employing anyone.



Agba Jalingo, Governor Ayade’s Aides Tackle Each Other Over Purported UBEC School Recruitment 



Agba Jalingo, a Nigerian investigative journalist, and media advisers to Cross River State governor Ben Ayade are arguing over the UBEC Smart School project initiated by the outgoing administration.

The successful candidates were instructed by Stephen Odey, the State Chairman of SUBEB, to report to the Conference Hall of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Calabar on Monday, November 28, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. sharp to pick up appointment letters and paperwork.



However, responding on Saturday, Agba Jalingo characterised the employment as fraudulent, adding that he had forewarned some of the applicants and the public that Governor Ayade was prone to lying and had no intention of employing anyone.

Some of the governor’s aides defended their boss on social media by disputing Agba Jalingo’s assertions.

Agba Jalingo has been charged with purposefully undermining Governor Ben Ayade, according to Andrea Ekeng Iyang, Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade on Strategic Communications.


He wrote:

Agba Jalingo awoke this morning and claimed that Governor Ayade’s job recruitment into the UBEC Smart School, Obudu, one of the governor’s brilliant projects, was a scam and in reality a ploy by the governor to win votes for himself in the recently concluded Cross River Northern elections.

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“When I read the article, I lamented the lengths Agba would go in his ongoing efforts to denigrate and discredit the Governor, whom he refers to as his brother.
Even though he was obviously lying and attempting to con the uninformed populace into supporting his charade of shame, reproach, and hatred against the Governor, there was no point in responding to him.”


“I was certain that one of the project’s beneficiaries would appear in defence somehow, someplace.
It didn’t take long for both direct and indirect beneficiaries to openly object to him.”


“The most depressing thing to observe is that Agba Jalingo doesn’t change even when there are obvious errors. He has completely lost all sense of regret, let alone the chaos and ongoing professional misstep he continues to level against the most prestigious profession, journalism.”


“Agba, like every other human, is not above making mistakes, but surprisingly, he is even eager to make those unrepentant mistakes on the account of Governor Ayade who is liberal enough to allow him to wallow in his constant misrepresentation of government policies and positions to make a name for himself.”


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“The fact remains that Agba is aware that he cannot continue to receive the massive support of the opposition as he does now if he does not continue to tow this unpopular part.”



“The UBEC Smart School, Obudu recruitment drive wasn’t a con. To the glory of God and the shame of the devil, those who were shortlisted, properly patrolled, and paid their first two months’ salaries.

Uchino Amatey, the PRO of SUBEB, also reacted, describing the journalist’s claim as a malicious attempt to defame the admirable work SUBEB is carrying out in the state’s educational sector.


He said:


Our attention has been drawn to a Facebook post made today, April 22, 2023, by one Agba Jalingo, who claims that the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff for the UBEC Smart School, Obudu, in November 2022 was fraudulent.”


“The post by Agba Jalingo is not just untrue; it also represents a cunning attempt to undermine the positive work SUBEB is doing in the field of education and a blatant attempt to deceive the public.”


“Agba Jalingo claimed in a Facebook post that none of the selected candidates received appointment letters. We would like to draw the public’s attention to a post that was made on the Cross River SUBEB Facebook page on November 29, 2022, in which successful candidates were given appointment letters by Senator Stephen Odey, Executive Chairman of SUBEB.”


“Mr. Jalingo added that His Excellency Governor Ben Ayade had constructed the UBEC Smart School in Obudu. In reality, the Smart School is a Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) initiative to help States set up a model of successfully run schools for the provision of high-quality, equitable, and inclusive basic education.”


“With assistance from the Korean government, UBEC constructed and outfitted the Obudu Smart School. Among the five other States in Nigeria, Cross River is one of the innovator States for the smart school project.”


“Recall that on March 15, 2023, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) organised a computer-based test at Klinnicapps Academy in Okuku, Yala, specifically for the teaching staff, which included teachers nominated from currently operating public primary schools in the State for deployment into the Smart School, Obudu.”


“As part of the preparations for the start of academic activities in the Smart School, UBEC will also organise an intensive training for staff.”

“The Board’s Facebook page regularly posts all of these and other items.”


“The Board is accessible and always available to the public for verification of any information concerning Basic Education in the State, so Agba Jalingo and the like should refrain from disseminating false information.”


“Over the years, the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration has remained steadfastly committed to enhancing the basic education sector through increased worker strength through the employment of teaching and non-teaching staff, training and retraining of teachers, construction and rehabilitation of more than 600 school projects, among other initiatives. The Board will continue to advance the cause of basic education in Cross River State without getting sidetracked by doubters.”


“The general public should keep up with all of the Board’s activities on our Facebook page and in the appropriate media.”

However, in response, Agba Jalingo pressed the staff of Governor Ben Ayade to show samples of the employment letters sent to the successful candidates.

He wrote:

Let’s put the problems in perspective rather than trying in vain to disprove my assertions. You assert that the successful UBEC School employment candidates have received pay rolls.”


Payroll for doing what?


“By September 2023, when the Governor-elect, Prince Otu, will have served for 4 months, academic activities in the school are expected to resume. For what purposes are those who have been paid earning salaries?

“Please provide samples of their employment letters.”

“Just two days ago, Governor Ayade wrote to his four-year appointees, including Commissioners, inviting them to visit Calabar the following week for the issuance of appointment letters.”

“This government has a tendency to hire people and pay them for doing nothing, including those who have been trying in vain to discredit what I wrote. It adds nothing to what I previously said.”


“The public will be interested in seeing their appointment letters and the work they did to earn payroll-ment.”

“You put yourself at risk for forced mistakes in responses without reflection when you surround yourself with a group of unthinking newbies who are still learning the ropes as media assistants.”


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