From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Mohammed Lukman, has cautioned against politicising the planned sack of over 21,000 public school teachers in Kaduna State who failed competency test conducted by the state government.
In a letter titled ‘State of Education in Kaduna: Issues and Politics to the Kaduna State APC Stakeholder’, he averred that politicizing the matter is synonymous to politicising the future of the children of the state.
According to Lukman, who was a Governorship aspirant for Kaduna State in the 2015 general elections on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) “We can disagree with Mallam Nasir on many issues but on the issue of fixing public education, we need to exercise restraints.
“Many of us, if not all, wouldn’t have been where we are if not for the privilege of access to quality public education. We are all products of public education on accounts of which we are globally competitive. This is not the case with our children.
“Our children are in most cases products of private education and hardly competitive locally. Looking at these scripts, there is no question about why this is so.
“We can disagree with the approach of the state government, but the way to go is not to politicize this matter. We must do all we can to support the state government to get this reform right.
“Those politicizing this matter, including labour leaders, need to make public declarations about how many of their children are attending these schools. We need to come to terms with the reality that governance is not popularity contest.
“On the part of Mallam Nasir and officials of the state government, I will commend them for taking up this matter but appeal for restraints aganst making public commentaries that would indulge those seeking for cheap publicity”, he said.
The letter reads in parts: “May I therefore start with the declaration that I am a loyal member of our party, APC. I strongly believe that contestations in the party and society are very healthy and needs to be promoted in order for our democracy to grow.
“My view however is that we need to see the bigger picture. Our politics must not be driven by narrow demands for recognition and the privileges that come with it. I know it is easy to say but very painful to bear.
“Manifestation of this conceptual eclipse in the way we conduct our politics clearly means that we are still trapped in the old political culture of individuals exercising entrepreneurial hold on party machinery and political contestation is all about that. Once this is the reality, it will be a vicious circle. It was the reality that consumed PDP. This is one reality that undermined party building and so long as that is the orientation, our politics will be unstable.