The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called for an immediate investigation of the Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph N. Ari, over alleged nepotism, wrongful appointments, and marginalisation of Muslims in the running of the agency.
In a statement, released on Friday, Director, MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, said there were a lot of challenges at ITF, Jos, Plateau State, noting that nepotism was at its peak in the agency as wrongful employment of Plateau indigenes was the order of the day.
He said out of the 487 staff employed by Ari in 2019, only 90 were Muslims, which was about 18.48 per cent, while 81.52 per cent of the employees were Christians.
Meanwhile, he said Ari’s appointment as DG did not follow due process, noting that he was first employed into ITF in 2006 as deputy director on a permanent and pensionable basis after retiring as a permanent secretary in the Plateau civil service.
Reacting to this, Director, Public Affairs Department, ITF, Suleyol Fred-Changu, said the 2019 recruitment exercise followed due process, and was coordinated by the Federal Character Commission, which also issued a letter of compliance to ITF after the exercise.
On the allegation of the DG’s appointment, he said Ari withdrew his services from the state service and joined the ITF in 2007 when he had not served up to 35 years, and was not at the age of retirement, noting that the allegations were a figment of the author’s imagination.
“The director-general is a devoted Christian, whose lineage, including his direct siblings is populated by both religions of Islam and Christianity. As a result of this, he does not believe in nepotism and tribalism and does not indulge in religious bigotry,” Fred-Changu said.