…demand apology for Nigerian students
By Luka Binniyat
ABUJA â€“The House of Representatives is set to debate a motion condemning the lavish 25th marriage anniversary party organised by the Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu while the University system was shut by strike.
The Reps would also debate whether to investigate the allegation, that Egwu, former Governor of Ebonyi State spent a princely N120 million while marking the Silver Jubilee of his marriage.
The motion, moved by Hon. Halims Ochuko Agoda (PDP/Delta) was billed for debate last Wednesday, but was steped down for this week.
The motion seeks to â€œmandate the House Committee on Education in exercise of its responsibility to thoroughly enquire into the sources of the stupendous N120million reportedly lavished by the minister to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of his marriage.
â€œTo further enquire in the sources of fund used by various university administrators, Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics and Heads of Parastatals of agencies of the Federal Ministry of Education who attended the wedding anniversary in terms of expenses on transportation, travelling basic allowances and other logistics including media coverage and recommend appropriate action to the House of Representatives.â€
The motion also demands â€œan immediate apology and an unconditional public apology from the minister to Nigerian University students and their parents and guardians for conducting himself in a manner suggestive of contemptuous disregards for the current plight of Nigerian students.â€
The Green Chamber, according to the motion, shouldÂ call on President Umaru Yar’Ãdua to â€œre-engineer his cabinet in order to give purposeful leadership to the country by cautioning his appointees whose conduct, actions or inactions portend a frontal onslaught on the sensibilities of the Nigerian people.â€
The motion notes the seeming unending strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and its crippling effects on academic activities and regrets that the often cited cause of the strike is the alleged refusal or failure of government to sign a mutually negotiated agreement reached with ASUU three years ago.
According to the motion, the Minister of Education ought to proffer immediate and workable solutions to any industrial action in the education sector capable of resulting in a collapse of the academic calendar in the Universities.
While it agrees that Dr. Egwu is entitled to luxuriate and sing praises to God for his 25 years,Â it noted that at a time the Universities are in a crisis of work stoppage, he should exercised caution in â€œsocial frolic and solve the Federal Government/ASUU debacle.â€