N120m Bday Bash,14 days after and Sam Egwu is still a Minister of the Federal Republic. By Ndiameeh Babrik
If it is here in the UK, he would have long forgotten the last time he was in the office as a minister or secretary as it is. But two weeks after he was said to have squandered N120 million of public money on the celebration of his "birthday", Dr Sam Egwu, the ex-governor of Ebonyi, "ha ex-governor (s) again'' is still the Minister of Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Now even the vocal and toothless EFCC hasn't the courtesy to invite him and ask him how he came about N120 million at this time of national recession.
If that were to be here in the UK, it is forgone conclusion that the Metropolitan police would have drilled him by now and criminal records check done on him. We know that the ICPC sometimes equated to ?Independence Corrupt Practices Commission' exist on paper and billboards. The Nigeria Police do not have the liver to investigate sitting ministers. Since Nuhu Ribadu left that EFCC, it has become a moribound organisation.
But all the above is not as painful as the timing of the said celebration of the minister of Education, Dr Sam Egwu's birth day. You see, he arranged it in such a way that it will inflict maximum pain and distress on our psyche for a long time to come. Otherwise how can a reasonable human being go to a party when his "house is on fire?" Unless he is not the true owner of that house and probably must caused the arson after he might have evacuated his properties from it as a tenant. That is exactly what Dr Sam Egwu was doing. Look at the following sad things happening at the time of his so called birthday celebration. All Nigerian university workers spearheaded by ASUU are on strike. All teachers in public primary and secondary schools are on strike. By implication about half of the Nigerian population are redundant and are just sitting and wasting at home. I have not even gone to the health workers, RATTAWU and Tanker drivers that are on strike yet.. But an unreasonable minister of education had the got to throw a party with N120 million public money and invited his friends including minister of Information and Communication Dora Akunyili as was shown on prime time of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and it was watched by their 60 million viewers, courtesy generating plants of course by those who can afford it. Yet he is still comfortably sitting in the Ministry of Education Abuja as a minister? Only in Nigeria! Oh! Hang on, I have just remembered he is an ex-governor; remember the Yar'adua interview in the Guardian newspaper? He said they are his friends and former colleagues. While our children are at home because Umoru and Sam Egwu refused to pay their teachers including university lecturers, all their children are attending public schools in Ghana where the teachers do not go on strike.
To traumatize Nigerians further, Brigadier David Mark is begging ASUU or it is appealing to ASUU to go back to work. But every month for sitting in Abuja and steal the national wealth further, he is said to take home officially about N6 million Naira every month, he has eight government vehicles in his convoy fuelled and serviced at the expense of the Nigerian tax payer. He lives in government house free. At the last count, his furniture allowance was five (5) million Naira. Dear readers, all the above I have stated are the official entitlement of David Mark. I have not come to the unofficial ones yet and including the 20% up front kickback and "kickfront'' he will collect on contracts. If Dimeji Bankole can collect N1.8 billion bribe as his own 20%, then David Mark's own will better be imagined.
Mr senate president, the university lecturers are not asking for N120 million per annum and in fact they are not even asking for your type of salary, they are just pleading with you guys to improve the Nigerian universities so that you will not have cause to send your children to Ghana or Europe for schooling.. More so now that Europe is gradually becoming hostile to foreigners whether legal or illegal.
While the House of Representatives is commended for condemning the ostentatious display of stolen public money and insensitivity by Sam Egwu, we still appeal to the national Assembly to make laws prohibiting public officers and their families from going abroad for medical treatment and to compel all public officers that they must send their children to public schools in Nigeria.
All public officers must be compelled to receive medicament in Nigerian public hospitals. It is not fair for them to create "world class hospitals" as they call it and leave it for the masses while they go to Egypt, South Africa or Ghana to receive treatment. After all what is good for the masses should be good for the elite public officers.
Therefore as a concerned parent and a tax paying Nigerian citizen, I have lost confidence in Dr Sam Egwu's ability to superintend over the educational system in Nigeria, this is as a result of his flagrant disregard for public emotions and opinions and went ahead to celebrate his so called birthday while all the educational system in Nigeria is under lock and key. What was his celebrating then? He should therefore resign or be sacked by Umoru Yar'adua. This article serves as my petition for Sam Egwu to be sacked. All Nigerians who share the same view as this article should sign a petition. Very insensitive minister and of course one of the 31 thieving former governors on the EFCC list.