About 9,000 job seekers including pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, physically challenged and several university graduates yesterday convened at the U.J. Esuene Stadium to compete for the 1,000 green police jobs created by the government to ensure proper protection of the state’s forestry resources.

Applicants from seven local government areas including Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Akamkpa, Biase, Odukpani, Calabar Municipality and Calabar South arrived at the stadium as early as 6 a.m. to undertake the physical exercise routine of six kilometre walk, which started at about 7 a.m. before returning to the stadium for credentials screening exercise.

The state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, had said that the green police when formed would take the responsibility of protecting the state vast rain forests which are being depleted on daily basis by timber logger and lumberpersons.

Ayade also promised the people of the state that his signature projects would be the provision of a thousand jobs in his first 100 days of assumption of office.

One of the applicants, Esther Manson Okon, an indigene of Akamkpa local council, who is five months pregnant stated that she applied for the job with the expectation that when employed, she could become self reliant and it would reduce the huge burden placed on the shoulders of her husband.

“I have three other children and this is the fourth, things have been very hard for me and my husband so when I heard about the green police job, I decided to apply so that I can help my husband,” she said.

According to her, pregnancy will not be a barrier to her effective performance if given the privilege.

“My other three children are grown up and so I can do very well because I am just 32 years old, so I am still young to work and help my husband.”

A breastfeeding mother, Atim Bassey, from Calabar South local council said that her baby is just three months old and stressed that she could do better than those who have not given birth.

“You can see that I went round the distance that they took us and was not tired but those who have not given birth could not do it so I am strong enough to do the work.”

Commenting on the issue, State Security Adviser, Mr Jude Ngaji said that the job opportunity was meant for Senior Secondary School Certificate holders and Ordinary National Diploma graduates but many university graduates also applied and assured that they would be committed to do the job if given the opportunity.

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