5th December, 2013
Chairman, University of Lagos Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Karo Ogbinaka, has accused Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, of incompetence in the handling of the Ministry.
Ogbinaka, in a chat with PM News, in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, blamed the protracted industrial dispute by federal and state-owned universities’ lecturers on Wike’s disinclination to resolving the issue.
The Philosophy lecturer flayed the Education Minister for leaking a letter by ASUU leadership on its demands to President Goodluck Jonathan to the press, without the latter seeing it first.
“We sent letter to the government through Wike and instead of forwarding the letter to the President, he leaked it to the press and started making all types of comment he could make in this world. We found in Wike somebody who talks and reasons later,” he said.
Short of calling Mr. Wike’s action a blackmail, Ogbinaka said former, thereafter, misinformed the public that ASUU had made fresh demands as conditions for stopping the strike.
“I doubt if Wike has the patience to even read the documents presented to him and that is what has landed us in the situation we are into. If it was not for him, the ASUU strike was as good as resolved. Wike is clearly incapable by every standard,” Ogbinaka stated.
The ASUU chieftain faulted Wike’s retention in the Ministry of Education after the sack of Professor Rukayyat Rufa’i Akali as former substantive Minister of Education.
He frowned at President Jonathan’s perceived misjudgment on his choice of Wike. “We understand what led to the removal of former education minister, Professor Rukayyat Rufa’i and, if in a football match, the referee sacks your goalkeeper, what a reasonable coach would do is to sacrifice a player to bring in another goalkeeper. I think the President (Goodluck Jonathan) should have reshuffled his cabinet the moment key ministers were removed, but unfortunately he left Wike as Supervising Minister of Education,” Ogbinaka said.
Meanwhile, Senior Presidential aide, Doyin Okupe, Wednesday, in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT, confirmed to journalists the proof of deposit of N200 billion into a designated Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, account.
Okupe named the special account as “Revitalization of Universities Infrastructure Account,” with reference number FD/OAGF/220/ADC/1/4DF, while modalities on its proportional disbursements to the institutions were being worked out. However, ASUU has not made claimed verification of the said funds.
But Ogbinaka assured that ASUU had resolved to call a National Executive Council, NEC, meeting to annul the strike once the government met its demands.