Ministers Adamu & Anwukah In Cold War Over Sack Of JAMB, NUC, NECO, 14 Other CEOs


IM
All is not well between the
Ministers of Education, Malam
Adamu Adamu and Professor
Anthony Anwukah. The two
ministers, New Telegraph
gathered, had not been in good terms since August 4, when the
Federal Government announced
the removal of 17 Chief
Executive Officers (CEOs) of
parastatals, agencies and
commissions under the Ministry of Education.
Findings by our correspondent
revealed that Adamu, a
confidant of President
Muhammadu Buhari, had made
recommendations to the president on the appointment of
new CEOs to replace those
sacked without the input of his
colleague, who is a former vice
chancellor and a nominee of
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State in the cabinet.
The minister had , at the
inauguration of the new heads
of education agencies under the
ministry, exonerated himself of
having hands in the appointments, claiming that they
were made by the president. But
a source within the Ministry of
Education alleged that Adamu
might have been running a
oneman show at the ministry. “The minister of state supervises
JAMB, UBEC, NECO and other
agencies. How is it possible that
he would not be involved in the
appointment of those he
supervises and reports to the president?” the source queried.
The cold war brewing between
them played out yesterday when
Adamu denied knowledge of
the recent increment in the
school fees of Federal Government Colleges also
known as Unity Schools recently
announced by the office of the
Minister of State for Education,
Anwukah.
The minister, who gave the shocking revelation, in a chat
with newsmen at the sidelines of
the National Education Quality
Assurance Handbook’s launch,
said the news of the increment
from N20,000 to N75,000 was strange to him.
“I am not aware that the Unity
School fees have been increased.
As the Minister of Education, I am
not aware, but I will try and find
out,” he said. While answering a question on
the feud between him and the
minister of state over the recent
appointment of new head of 17
agencies, Adamu claimed
ignorance of the development, but admitted to mistakenly failed
to acknowledge the presence of
his (Anwukah’s) representative
during the launch of the
handbooks. “I am not also
aware that he has been sidelined, but you can go and
find out from the source that told
you, ” he added.
The frosty relationship between
them manifested when
Anwukah was observed to be absent at events that attracted
the presence of Adamu since
those appointments were made.
A source in the ministry blamed
the sudden change of attitude of
the Minister of State on the way the latter sidelined him on the
recommendation to Buhari on
those to be appointed to head
agencies in the ministry.
While pleading for anonymity,
the source wondered if the ministry was no longer properly
coordinated for the minister to
claim ignorance of a directive
concerning the school fees
increase that came from the
office of his colleague. “Is it possible that he will not be
aware of such increase?
Or is it that the ministry is not
coordi snated again, especially
when the Permanent Secretary,
Dr. Folasade Yemi- Esan, confirmed the increment ?”
asked the source. To press home
his grievances, Anwukah
allegedly shunned the
inauguration of the newly
appointed chief executives. This was also followed by his
conspicuous absence during the
flag-off of the 2016 Teachers’
Professional Development
Workshop in Abuja on August 1.
The event was organised by the Universal Basic Education
Commission (UBEC ), which is
under the purview of the
Minister of State.
Anwukah did not also have a
representative standing for him. Speaking on the absence of the
Minister of State at the event,
which held at Jabi Junior
Secondary School, the highly
placed source said that the office
of the minister was not even aware of the event, noting that
Anwukah was in town on that
day.
The source, however, disclosed
that the two ministers have only
shown that they have cordial relationship on the surface as
they relate well in the office
everyday, but engage in cold
war.
“What baffles many of us is that
on the surface, it appears all is well between the two of them
because the main minister often
time strolls down to the Minister
of State’s office. “In fact, if he is
fasting, he will invite the minister
of state to his office to break fast with him.
But it appears that the heads of
departments and directors at the
ministry have also seen the body
language of the two of them, ”
the source told New Telegraph. Speaking on the Unity Schools’
fees, the Permanent Secretary,
Yemi- Esan, admitted that the
Federal Government has
increased the fees.
The Permanent Secretary said the increment, which was
focused on boarding fees, was
to meet up with the cost of
running the schools. She said:
“The school fees of the Federal
Government Colleges has been increased, but not up to the 300
per cent as being claimed.
You must be aware of the reality
in the country. “ It is important
for the Federal Government
Colleges to maintain the students that are there and you must also
be aware that these schools are
tuition free
What has been increased is the
boarding fee, but is not up to
N75,000,” she added, just as she denied knowledge of any feud
between the two education
ministers.