In defence of minister of education
Sir: This piece is by no means an attempt to defend the minister of education or speak on his behalf. As an internationally acclaimed columnist and a seasoned writer, Mallam Adamu Adamu could have done a far better job in his own defence. Better still, a more robust defence could have been put up by media aides to the minister. But, the point is, it serves no good to ignore what could be termed as a dubious attempt at putting hardworking Nigerians on the spot for no just cause.
Perhaps, it would have been appropriate to ignore the campaign of calumny directed at the minister but for the fact that the campaigners are either ill-informed about the issues at stake or they deliberately chose to be mischievous in their attempt to stain the minister. It needs to be pointed out at the onset that the dirty campaign against the Education minister started the day he was assigned his portfolio by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The dirty campaign against the minister started at the birth of the present cabinet in late 2015. Without even taking the time to look at his resume, many questioned Adamu’s credentials and preparedness to head them. Several gutter publications even claimed that the designation of a former vice chancellor as minister of state in the ministry amounted to marginalisation of a certain ethnic group! It is not surprising that cynics fail to see the giant strides taken to sanitise the education ministry and breathe new life into the ministry’s two dozen agencies.
President Buhari must know many things about Adamu to have appointed him minister of education. This is because the President is aware of the centrality of education in the new Nigeria his government is building. No one knows better than Mr President that education is crucial if the country is serious about resolving the contradictions in Nigeria.
The much we know of the minister of education, through his Friday column in Daily Trust newspaper, reveals a father-figure with a fertile and progressive mind. The picture of Adamu that television sets continue to beam into our homes has been that of a man who, like Buhari, is averse to false and ostentatious lifestyles. The minister has warmed his way into the heart of many Nigerians especially by the silent way he is working to achieve set goals. For instance, the minister has shaken up and repositioned agencies under the education ministry and challenged management and staff to key into the Federal Government’s change agenda. The anti-graft campaign has been received added bite and even the universities are not insulated from it.
Nigeria may have got it right with his appointment as education minister. The minister has all it takes to get it right and therefore needs the support and goodwill of compatriots. The way it is, Adamu has his hands full with the rot he has to clear at the ministry of education. The minister is like the driver of a wobbly truck who may crash his vehicle if distracted by petty people in pursuit of petty parochial interests.
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