BusinessDay

ASUU strike: Nigerians not moved by Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba’s resignation

Many Nigerians seem not worried about the resignation of Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the minister of state for education as it concerns the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.

Dele Ashiru, the chairman of ASUU, University of Lagos chapter sees the minister’s resignation as a good omen to the union. According to the Ashiru, the minister had been a liability both to the ministry and the union, hence his resignation is a welcome development.

Stanley Boroh, a lecturer at the Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State sees the minister’s resignation as not having any major effect on the impasse between the federal government and ASUU.

“Nwajiuba has never been a friend of ASUU, the focal point is the senior minister in the person of Adamu Adamu,” Boroh said.

In the same vein, Charles Onwunali, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos disclosed to BusinessDay that the minister’s resignation does affect the union’s pursuit.

“His office does not cover tertiary education being a junior minister, so his being there or not is no issue,” he stated.

Friday Erhabor, a public affairs analyst waved off the minister’s resignation. He reiterated that by his resignation he has even disqualified himself for any political office.

“It is the minister of state for education that resigned. And he resigned to pursue his political aspiration.

“In a decent society, that kind of person should not even have any relevance politically. You are in charge of education and ASUU is on strike going to 3 months.

Read also: ASUU strike: University of Ilorin students protest

“Now you are resigning for a higher political position. It does not make any sense. Such a person should be a bar from any political position including the minister of labour,” Erhabor said.

Abass Isa, a former public relations officer of the students’ union of the University of Ilorin, is a practical display of misplaced priority. He called on all Nigerians to rise up and defend the course of ASUU and the students.

“Nigerians need to come out and protest. And this time around, we must take our protest far beyond street demonstrations,” Isa noted.

Nwajiuba tendered his resignation in line with the directives from the presidency that all political office holders vying for the political posts should resign.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier on mandated all cabinet members interested in contesting the 2023 general elections quit his government.

Nwajiuba as a matter of fact is the first person among all President Buhari’s cabinet members that picked the 2023 presidential nomination form.

Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, Adamu Adamu, the minister of education, and Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transport are among some of the cabinet members who picked the nomination forms and are expected to resign.

Others are, Godswill Akpabio, the minister for Niger Delta, Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of science, technology, and innovation, Abubakar Malami, the attorney general and minister of justice, Uche Ogar, the minister of state, mines and steel, and Paulline Tallen, the minister of women affairs.

President Buhari has however expressed his delight in the prompt action of Nwajiuba. The president singled him out for braving the odds to resign, as he expressed his excitement for his action.

The President had applauded the minister’s bold act for braving the odds to quit avoiding conflict of interest, and said: “I expect other members of this council seeking to be President to resign with immediate effect.”

According to a BusinessDay report Nwajiuba had earlier declared his intention to contest the 2023 presidential election under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC), when paid for the N100million nomination form.

President Buhari had ordered his cabinet members who are interested in various political offices to resign in order to avoid litigations that might hinder the chances of the party’s candidates in the forthcoming elections.

He directed that all members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) running for elective offices should submit their letters of resignation on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.

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