The Baraje-led PDP accused Mr. Wike of incompetence.
The Abubakar Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, faction has described the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, as a ‘traitor and a misfit’ while reacting to a statement it said was credited to Mr. Wike.
The minister had allegedly accused the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, of being behind the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
A statement by the spokesperson of the PDP faction, Chukwuemeka Eze, on Tuesday in Abuja said the faction would have “ordinarily ignored Wike’s outburst as the ranting of a confused and clueless minister” adding however, that it decided to respond “so as to set the record straight”.
Mr. Wike, who spoke via the Secretary-General of the Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI, Samuel Nwanosike, Monday, in Port Harcourt was quoted as saying Mr. Amaechi and the new PDP were behind the prolonged strike by university lecturers across the country.
Mr. Eze however, challenged the Minister to produce evidence to back up his allegation or ‘bury his head in shame forever’.
“If we may ask, was it Governor 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?” Mr. Eze said.
He also said it was unfortunate that instead of committing himself to finding a solution to the crippling strike, Mr. Wike has chosen to ‘trivialize’ 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,” he added.
Mr. Eze stated that the faction had earlier ordered her members to fast and pray for the end to the unfortunate strike action for over a week and had even set up a committee under the chairmanship of Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State to proffer solutions on how to resolve the strike.
He disparaged the Education Minister saying the faction was at a loss as to how a “supposedly serious government should continue to retain such an incompetent and unserious mind 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 a man who could engineer the stoning of visiting State Governors from other parts of the country without caring a hoot about the consequences 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 where he has because of his greed messed up governance,” Mr. Eze said.
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