By Henry Umoru
ABUJA — THE Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led new Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to as a matter of urgency sack the Minister of State, Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike against the backdrop that the ministry was too strategic for him to handle.
In a statement, the Baraje-led PDP national Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze said: “We are at a loss as to how a supposedly serious government should continue to retain him as a Minister of the very strategic Ministry of Education in a country teeming with accomplished educationists and administrators if not for undemocratic motor-park democracy he specializes on.
“In any case, we are not overly surprised by Wike’s tirade because he is capable of saying or doing anything, no matter how outrageous.
“Let us reiterate that should he ever make another derogatory statement about the Baraje-led PDP, we will teach him some lessons on how to talk as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and he should note that New PDP is not Rivers State.
“The fact remains that to say that Wike is a disaster as a Minister is to state the obvious. We advise him to minimize the damage which he is doing to the Jonathan administration by concentrating on his work instead of busying himself making enemies for the President whom he pretends to be loyally serving but whose downfall he is secretly plotting.
“Instead of President Jonathan addressing enemies within his cabinet he is busy persecuting and embarrassing his true friends and political associates that matter in his political calculations!
“We have read with dismay the statement credited to the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, that Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and the New Peoples Democratic Party are behind the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
“We would have ordinarily ignored Wike’s outburst as the ranting of a confused and clueless minister but have decided to reply so as to set the record straight. We challenge Wike to produce evidence to back up his allegation or bury his head in shame forever.”
“If we may ask, was it Gov. Amaechi or any other of our members that negotiated on behalf of the Federal Government in 2009 when it reached the agreement with ASUU, which it has inexplicably refused to honour, thus laying the foundation for this lingering strike that has mortgaged the future of innocent Nigerian youths? And did any member of New PDP negotiate on the part of ASUU during the recently deadlocked talks with the FG over the strike?
“It is unfortunate that instead of committing himself towards finding a solution to the crippling strike, Wike has instead chosen to trivialise the issue and to ridicule himself. Unfortunately, it is the actions and utterances of court jesters like Wike that have made perceptive Nigerians to describe the Goodluck Jonathan administration as a kindergarten government.
“For Wike to have made this statement against a group that ordered her members to fast and pray for this unfortunate strike for over a week and even set up a Committee under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, Gov Babangida Aliyu to proffer solutions on how to come out of the quagmire occasioned by Wike’s inability simply demonstrates the lack of wisdom on his side!