A Yoruba youth group, Oodua Youth Coalition, has condemned the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, for buying the N100 million APC presidential nomination forms amidst the strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The OYC, in a statement signed by its National President, Oluyi Tayo, described the action of the junior Minister as condemnable and reckless.
The group also questioned Nwajiuba’s motive for showing interest in the country’s top job despite failing to resolve the education crisis.
Tayo lamented the plight of Nigerian students who would have to spend more than the stipulated time for their course of study after the strike grounded the country’s tertiary education sector.
The statement read in part, “ASUU has been on strike since mid-February and we have all watched on hoping they will recall students who have been at home since.
“It is now saddening that instead of us to receive news that the ASUU strike is over, what we have heard is the junior education Minister purchasing a ₦100 million form to contest for the Nigerian Presidency. One wonders what is the priority of the Minister and what legacy he hopes to build on when he has failed Nigerian students over time.”
“The incessant ASUU strikes have grounded the education sector and have further disrupted the hopes and dreams of Nigerian students. A course of four years is now running into six years for students.
“We have not stopped asking ourselves what Nwajiuba hopes to achieve by purchasing that form when he has failed the country woefully as a Minister but now deems it fit to run for the highest office obtainable in the land? Is he contesting to put Nigerian students permanently at home?” the statement read.
OYC wondered with what education would Nwajiuba hopes to lead the country had those who were empowered to pilot the education system been this nonchalant and lackadaisical like him.
The OYC, however, urged the Minister of State to focus on stabilising the education sector and reminded him that if his predecessors had not taken education as a priority, he would not be able to consider contesting for President.
“Nwajiuba is contesting to lead Nigeria but would he have had that opportunity at all if his predecessors were nonchalant like him? Education is the bedrock of every civilisation and development and ours won’t be different.
“Nwajiuba should refocus and concentrate his energy on firstly getting Nigerian students back on campus and the education system devoid of the disruptive academic calendar before aspiring to lead Nigeria. He has nothing whatsoever to campaign with as long as students remain at home, hopeless of when they will go back to their classes.
“Let this be a warning to him and others who have failed the Nigerian populace in whatever capacity they find themselves but asking Nigerians to reward them with bigger offices. We will be here waiting for them!” the statement concluded.