- 42 PhD students sponsored abroad by Ebonyi state government have cried out
- They alleged that the incumbent Governor David Umahi has reneged from his promise that he would sustain legacy left by his predecessors on education
- They also appealed to Governor Umahi to assist them as their studentship may be terminated soon
Some PhD students under the sponsorship of Ebonyi state government in the UK have called on Governor David Umahi to save their studentship from being terminated.
In a message sent to NAIJ.com, a Facebook user, Clifford Enyita Iteshi, said the students were sent abroad for postgraduate studies by the past administration of Ebonyi state led by former Governor Elechi.
He, however, said that contrary to the initial pledges by the incumbent governor that he would continue financing their education, he abandoned them when his assistance was mostly needed.
He said: "We are 42 PhD students under the sponsorship of Ebonyi state government in the UK. We were selected as best under graduate students in the third convocation ceremony of Ebonyi state university and sent abroad for postgraduate studies by the past administration of Ebonyi state led by former Governor Elechi.
"The former governor paid our first year tuition fees and stipends but the present administration of Ebonyi state led by Governor David Umahi has paid blind eyes to our studies with our tuition fees and stipends being owned by the state government for the past two years.
"Despite that, an attempt by the government to alleviate the high level of poverty and illiteracy in Ebonyi state the former Governor Sam Egwu did not only introduce scholarship from primary to tertiary institutions but also introduced foreign training and scholarship programmes for the teeming Ebonyi state indigenes to enhance their science and technological skills in the foreign Universities.
"This good gesture was continued by the administration of former Governor Martin Elechi leading to the graduation of some PhD students who now lecture in our state owneduUniversity as the contract of the sponsorship demanded.
:Our own case has now become different as the incumbent Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state government having promised to continue with the programme and also setting up of committee to investigate the genuine credentials of those on the scholarship did not only stop further sponsorship of new candidates but abandoned 42 PhD candidates who are already on the programmes with their first year's tuition fees and stipends being fully paid.
"This kind of day light abandonment has thrown us into perpetual slavery, condemnation, and mockery.
"We are now homeless in the foreign land with huge threat by our institutions to terminate our studentships and forceful deportation should we not pay our outstanding fees before the end of April, 2019 and having given us more than two years grace for our sponsors to do the needful.
"We have made several attempts to reach the concerned authorities including office of the Governor of Ebonyi state but all proved abortive. We have attempted to book an appointment to discuss our plight with the Governor of the state but were rebuffed by the governors’ protocols.
"Sometimes last year, we were thrown into excitement when we had that the state Governor f David Umahi approved the release and payment of the tuition fees and stipends of Ebonyi state government sponsored PhD candidates in the Diasporia.
"We were informed by the scholarship board and office of the Special Adviser to the governor on higher education to re-submit our credentials including account details for perusal and on-ward remittance.
"Up till dates, we have received nothing and they have remained incommunicado with our various institutions.
"Should we have fallen victims of corruption due to diversion of the money meant for the payment of our fees and stipends?
"This is a question that is getting us confused. We engaged on this protest at the front of BBC office Salford Quays, Manchester, UK in order to enlightened the public of our unbearable and life threatening predicaments.
"We are praying for the Governor Umahi and other stakeholders holders involved in the administration of Ebonyi State government to please come to our rescue as our situation has become like the story of the Israelite in the land of Egypt.
"We are academically, financially and our health is deteriorating. Our conditions are bleeding and we need urgent attention. God bless Ebonyi state of Nigeria."
Watch this NAIJ.com video of a Nigerian complaining about the state of the country: