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The Coming Of President Buhari’s Ministers

We plead with the ministers to understand that Nigeria is in a state of emergency in many respects. Most of the roads are bad. Power is epileptic. Education is at an all-time low. Unemployment is all the rage

After all the waiting, President Muhammadu Buhari has at last appointed the ministers to run the government. The President assures that the ministers he took all of six months to appoint are “round pegs in round holes”. Critically analyzing the appointments, it is obvious that there are some curious cases in the mix. Education happens to be of very critical import. Adamu Adamu, a seasoned journalist, has been appointed the Minister of Education, and curiously Professor Anwukah was named the Minister of State.

This is a clear case of putting the cart ahead of the horse. Adamu Adamu boasts of no pedigree whatsoever in education administration. Prof Anwukah has this redoubtable bio-data: “He did his doctorate degree programme in General Curriculum, System Analysis and Social Studies at the University of Washington Seattle, USA in 1977. Prior to this, he did his Masters in Educational Administration and Planning at the University of Portland, Oregon, USA in 1975.

At Fourah Bay, University of Serra Leone, (1974), he studied English Language and Literature and had Second Class (Hons) degree, Upper Division. Professor Anwuka had in August 2001, participated at the Commonwealth Vice-Chancellors Leadership Conference, Dundee Scotland UK.

Professor Anthony Anwuka has worked as a Teaching Assistant, University of Washington, Seattle 1976-1977, Curriculum Resource Person/ Instructor, Specialist Seattle Opportunities Industrialisation Centre (SOIC) 1977- 1978; Senior Lecturer, University of Maiduguri, 1983-1985; Reader, University of Maiduguri, 1986 1998; Curriculum Resource Person/ Consultant, Nigerian National Teachers Institute, (NTI), Kaduna, 1983 -1986. He acquired the prestigious rank of Professor of Education from former Imo State University, now Abia State University Uturu, 1989 –1993.

He was one time Dean, Faculty of Education, Imo State University Owerri, 1993 – 1994 and also the Vice-Chancellor of the University for five years.” This is very much unlike the case of President Goodluck Jonathan who, rightly we believe, made Barrister Nyesom Wike Minister of State for Education beneath Professor Rukayyatu Ahmed Rufai, a professor of Education. Dr Kayode Fayemi would have fared better in Foreign Affairs than Solid Minerals given his education and grooming.

Babatunde Raji Fashola had great acclaim as Governor of Lagos but saddling him with the “super ministry” of Power, Works and Housing appears to be an overkill. Why not slate him neatly in as a Minister of Justice? The humongous ministry ought not to have been yoked together.

Power ought to have stood alone. Works and Housing should have been a different ministry entirely. As a lawyer Fashola lacks the basic nous for the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. Even the Minister of State Baba Shehuri is a sociologist and not an engineer. Udoma Udo Udoma as Minister of Budget and National Planning would need the economic grounding to make a success of the ministry.

Amina Mohammed as Minister of Environment may not really appreciate the environmental mess of places in the Niger Delta and the erosion issues in the Niger Delta. Solomon Dalong as Minister of Youth and Sports has never been known to show much interest in sports. He would need to learn on the job. Sports can always bring unity to the country, so Nigeria needs a true sports winner to man the ministry. The idea of putting non-sporting persons in the sports ministry cannot bode well for the country.

Mohammed Bello was appointed the Minister of FCT even as we fill that Usman Jibril, an acknowledged land administrator and expert in “orthophoto mapping, geographic information service and urban planning and urban renewal”, ought to fit the bill better. Dr Chris Ngige, a medical doctor, was assigned to the Ministry of Labour and Employment instead of Health. The Minister of Interior General Abdulrahman Dambazau ought to have been sent to the Defence Ministry instead of Dan Ali. Kenny Adeosun as Minister of Finance is appointed to her field.

It is our hope that she should get immediately cracking to save the country from financial dire straits. The controversial Lai Mohammed should know that there is a difference between proper information and partisan propaganda. Lai Mohammed may end up losing support for the regime if he goes ahead with his reputation as an untrustworthy information manager and dispenser. Audu Ogbeh was quite accomplished as a Minister in the Second Republic.

His appointment by Buhari as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has been hailed across the board. It is our prayer that he lives up to the promise in this day and age. Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, a First Class scientist, should acquit himself well as the Minister of Science and Technology.

We plead with the ministers to understand that Nigeria is in a state of emergency in many respects. Most of the roads are bad. Power is epileptic. Education is at an all-time low. Unemployment is all the rage. We can go on endlessly. Let the government fulfill the destiny of Nigeria in this season of change.

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