A former Petroleum Minister, Prof Tam David-West, yesterday criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for refusing to accede to the demands of the Academic StaffUnion of Universities (ASUU).
The former minister also berated the Finance Minister and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, senators and government appointees for draining the nation’s purse through what he called reckless spending.
Prof David-West spoke at a Town Hall meeting, organised by University of Ibadan (UI) chapter of the ASUU at the Mapo Hall, Ibadan.
He lashed out at Dr Okonjo-Iweala for her comments on the Federal Government’s 2009 agreement with ASUU.
The academic noted that thereare more thieves in government than there are saints in Nigeria.
According to him, a government which said it spent N8 trillion illegally must be made by Nigerians to fund public education.
Prof David-West stressed that any government, which fails to invest in education is a vagabond government.
He said: “Any government thatfails to invest in education is a vagabond government.
The problem with Nigeria is that we have more thieves than saints in government.
We drill over two million barrels of crude oil per day.
Why should we be poor?
“ASUU is saying that the government should spend the money to improve the quality of education for our children and those yet unborn. The same government that does not have money for education budgeted N1 billion each to feed the President and the Vice President for just a year.
Are they eating rock in Aso Rock? If you went to school without shoes, ensure that your children have shoes. Good parents pray that their children must be better than them.”
Other speakers at the event included the National Treasurer of ASUU, Dr Ademola Aremu; Oyo State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr Olanrewaju Bashir; UIchapter of ASUU Chairman, Dr Segun Ajiboye; Dr Biodun Badmus of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB); Comrade Mashood Erubami, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, Mr Femi Aborishade, among other activists.
Prof David-West said Dr Okonjo-Iweala lacked the morality to budget N2 billion annually for Jonathan’s and Namadi Sambo’s food and still claim that the same government cannot meet the education needs of the masses.
The former minister said the Finance Minister was being paid $2 million a month under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, without her rejecting it or insisting that she should be paid in naira to improve the economy.
He wondered what President Jonathan is doing with 10 presidential jets while President of the United States, Barack Obama, has only one.
Prof David-West noted that the possession of a university degree does not make one a good administrator.
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