By Musa Adamu
Firstly, I want to use this medium to congratulate you on your well deserved appointment as the Minister of Education and to also pray to God, Almighty, to lead the way as you settle down to confront myriads problems bisecting the sector. Secondly, in appointing you to this portfolio, Mr. President, no doubt, took cognizance of your exploits and your love for the field of education. He must have reckoned with your imprints in the sector as the governor of Kano state and what you did to turn around the attitude of parents to the primary education in general and the girl child education project in particular.
He must have reckoned with your eyes for excellence and your bias for equity to all who come in contact with you, And it is this attribute of yours that ginger a humble citizen and secret admirer of yours like me to write about an apparent injustice and inequity that has been perpetrated in the “appointment” of the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa. I feel something is wrong with the way and manner Dr. ShetimaSaidu became the Rector of the institution in February 3, 2014. I strongly feel that due process was not followed and that some group of persons are out to circumvent the due process.
You would agree with me that a nation that does not get its education sector right is likely not to get anything right. Issues such as this are what have led this all important sector into disrepute it is currently suffering both from within and from the international arena. Pray, if a nation cannot adhere to the simple rules of getting the best to head its education institution, would it not be asking for too much when that nation expects these institutions to churn out product we can all be proud of?
As I write, the University of Abuja is also embroiled in a case akin to what I am complaining about here. As expected, some interested parties are in the National Industrial Court (NIC) to seek redress. But, we chose not to take that part. We chose to await someone like you who has conscious and sense of fairness to take over the ministry so that he could do the right thing.
Your Excellency Sir, the following are some of my reasons which informed my conclusion that there is more to the emergence of Dr. Shettima as the Rector than meet the eyes.
My first reason is that Dr. Shettima emerged in distant third position in the interview conducted by the institution’s governing council, with Mal. Shuaibu Omame Madaki coming top. Although, this is not the first time the last is becoming the first in this country, but I feel as a serious nation with eye for merit and excellence we don’t have to continue that way.
Another reason for my hunch that something is fishy is that the person who came first was not in any way disqualified by reason of federal character, as he hails from Nasarawa state, rose through the ranks to become senior lecturer having joined the institution from the scratch, passed all the security tests and was a two time deputy rector of the school. He has never been administratively or otherwise found wanting as a civil servant of the federal civil service.
And now, wait for the most curious aspect of the whole saga; as the deputy rector of the school, Madaki was made Acting Rector on February 3, while the Dr. Shettima emerged with a letter a week later, dated January 31, 2014, claiming he had been confirmed the substantive rector via a letter. What I can’t reconcile is that while the letter indicated that Dr. Shettima was appointed in January 31, 2014, Madaki was appointed the Acting Rector on February 3, 2014. Note the inconsistency. By this letter, it means the federal government went ahead to appoint Madaki as Acting Rector even when it had already confirmed DrShetima as the substantive rector. It is either the government made appointment into where vacancy did not exist or somebody has committed the crime of “impersonation” and even that of “forgery.”
Similarly, Dr Shettima’s letter, who by the way was a two time provost of Federal Colloge of Edcuation, Potiskum, Yobe state, was signed by Director, Higher Institution, Hajiya Hindatu Abdullahi, as against the practice where the minister signs on the authority of the President or worst still, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. Furthermore, the supposed appointment of Dr. Shettima was by only one newspaper and not any of the government owned news media medium as NAN, NTA, FRCN or any other private medium in the country.
Meanwhile, when Madaki was made the Acting Rector, it was carried by many news media. My good self heard it on the FRCN. Is this not curious enough to want to investigate the process? Now, these are some of the inconsistencies that informed my conclusion that it is either government has ceased to do things right, or a cabal exists and has arrogated to itself the duty of hiring and firing on behalf government and this cabal careless for decency, decorum and pursuit of excellence and equity.
And I know that your good self has never and can never be a part of that deceit. I trust that you will give my letter a good look and cause that the right thing should be done. Dr. Shettima may be equally qualified to head the school or may even be an innocent tool being manipulated by a cabal to serve its primordial ends, but for God and the country, the right thing need to be done. I end this letter believing that as soon as it comes to your attention, you shall cause investigation to be carried out and the right thing is done.
Musa Adamu, 35 Dandin Kowa, Keffi, Nasarawa state.