As the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba finally joined the long list of political gladiators gunning to take over the leadership baton from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 and officially picks the nomination and Expression of Interest forms of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, have been urged to democratically and peacefully picket the National Secretariat of the ruling party for 48 hours.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, made the call on Wednesday while strongly condemning Nwajiuba for what it described as the ill-advised decision to buy the N100 million worth of forms.
The group said that if Nigeria were to be a truly democratic state and a nation where the rule of law is supreme, all the serving ministers who enjoy no statutory tenures but picked forms to succeed their boss would have been dismissed forthwith.
HURIWA said the junior education minister is not even qualified to run for the office of a Senator if Nigeria is lawful going by the abysmal failure of the Ministry of Education to maintain academic stability in the public tertiary education system.
The rights group wondered whether the young man has any noticeable legacy in his home state of Imo and his Senatorial zone of Okigwe that suffers from systematic and systemic marginalisation by the Federal Government that he has been part of for good 7 years and still counting.
“Okigwe is today the least developed Senatorial zone in all of Nigeria even when it is one of the oldest in terms of period of creation in the 1970s but this Minister of Education, who has been colourless and phenomenally poor in performance is insulting our national psyche by buying the overpriced Presidential nomination form from his party even as he is telling us that his friends bought the N100 million form for him,” HURIWA said in a statement signed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, its National Coordinator.
“Why is EFCC not asking questions now but is constantly harassing students in Owerri Imo State in pursuit of the so-called yahoo-yahoo boys?
“Indeed the fault is neither of Emeka Nwajiuba the young man whose ‘Chi’ burnished his fortune and has been favoured with the rapid political rise in the society, but that of Buhari who has shown that he is not in touch with the contemporary times because were Mr President to be aware of his environment, he wouldn’t permit these unnecessary distractions posed to his administration by the fact that his serving Federal cabinet members are divided and are pursuing their personal political fortune and interests even whilst still holding on to publicly funded paid appointments.
“How on Earth will these distracted ministers like Emeka Nwajiuba, Chris Ngige, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi be focused towards efficient and dynamic public service delivery when they are actively involved in chasing after their delusional political ambitions to be President? This is an unmitigated political disaster and a shame of a lifetime that this infamy is tolerated by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
HURIWA has therefore asked NANS if it hasn’t been compromised and hijacked by political forces like the Nigeria Labour Congress to peacefully occupy the national Secretariat of the APC to demand that the hierarchy reject the purchase of the multimillion Naira worth Presidential nomination form by the poorly performing education minister whose ineffectiveness has kept students away from schools for two Months.
“The Academic Staff Union of Universities should similarly embark on such a civil disobedience course and they will inevitably be supported by hundreds of credible civil society stakeholders including the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA),” it said.