BY SUZAN EDEH
LATELY, the Bauchi State education sector has been in crisis, following alleged incompetence of the Commissioner for Education,Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu.
The state House of Assembly before going on recess two months ago withdrew their confirmation of the nomination of Aminu as commissioner for lower and higher education because of his alleged inability to turn around the educational fortunes of the state.
On the strength of that Aminu, was subsequently suspended, even as he was banned from holding any political appointment within a specified period of time.
Instructively, the decision was a fallout of the report by the House Committee on Education headed by Mr. Abduallahi Murtar, which investigated and subsequently indicted Aminu over claims that the Ministry of Education had nothing to show for the huge government investment in the sector.
Though there were attempts by the lawmakers to reinstate the suspended commissioner, but the moves were blocked by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS).
The group felt that the lawmakers were not acting in accordance with the constitution and were playing politics with the matter.
Briefing newsmen on the matter, ASUSS Chairman, Comrade Abdullahi Mohammed Ningi, said that Aminu was removed in August 2013 due to the crisis bedeviling the sector.
The crisis, he said included; retrenchment of primary school teachers, strike by secondary school teachers as well as tertiary institutions in the state.
Ningi, said ASUSS was invited to submit its input into the House committee’s investigation in order to carry every stakeholder along on the issue.
“This was submitted to the committee and we were invited twice for defence by the committee but none could take place due to some problems beyond the control of the committee. While patiently waiting and hoping to be invited for the defence of our submission to the committee, we received the shocking and disappointing news that our State House of Assembly members have not only forgiven the removed Commissioner but also have returned him to office as commissioner of education,”he stated.
He further accused the suspended commissioner, Alhaji Aminu of bribing the House, so as to be reinstated, saying that the union had concluded plans to take the lawmakers to court over the development.
Accordingly, the union described the planned reinstatement of the commissioner as an act that is inimical to the future of education in Bauchi. Hence, the conclusion that the lawmakers are toothless bulldogs, who could only bite those perceived to be the enemies of the State Governor, Alhaji Isa Yuguda.
Notwithstanding, the union has vowed to petition the. Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the World Bank over the alleged financial recklessness of the suspended commissioner.
Reacting to the bribery allegation, the Deputy Chairman Bauchi State House Committee on Information Mr. Baba Suleiman, said the allegation that the commissioner bribed the lawmakers would not be swept under the carpet.
He however restated that decision to withdraw the nomination of Aminu still stands, adding that the suspended commissioner was not reinstated.