From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Abia State Government has denied the news making the rounds that it sold a mission school, Wilcox Memorial Comprehensive Secondary School, to former deputy governor, Eric Nwakanma.
Nwakanma is an in-law to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
Describing the news as fake, Commissioner for Trade and Investment, John Kalu, said the former governor, Theodore Orji administration had, in 2011, handed over the mission school back to its original owners, the United Evangelical Church.
Okiyi-Kalu disclosed that it was the church which entered into an agreement with the former deputy governor to rebuild and manage the school.
He also denied allegation that government sold Ndoki Primary School. Rather, he said government relocated the school which was situated beside the Ngwa road market as the environment was not conducive for learning.
The commissioner explained that the trading activities and location of a military unit in the school became huge distractions to the pupils as government would no longer allow students to study in such a chaotic environment.
He, however, disclosed the primary school has been relocated to conducive environment within the same area.
“Wilcox Memorial Grammar School, Ogbor Hill, Aba, was never sold to anybody by the Ikpeazu administration. What happened was that the government before us handed over the mission school to its original owners, the United Evangelical Church.
“It is the church which entered into agreement with the former deputy governor to rebuild and manage the school. The state government has nothing to do with it.
“Again, nobody sold Ndoki Primary School. What happened was that the school is surrounded by the Ngwa road market, Danfodio market and other trading activities in the area.
“There is also a military cantonment inside the school. The state government decided that proper teaching and learning cannot thrive in such a chaotic environment. They resolved to relocate the school to a more conducive environment within the same area.
The commissioner further stated that traders who were displaced from the ongoing reconstruction of the Ngwa road market will be relocated to the open ground in the school pending the conclusion of construction works at their lines.
He also stated that the ministry would soon return the traders displaced from Lines 1, 2 and 3 of the market to their shops as the works are almost completed.