A Northern group, Arewa Youth Assembly has called on Nigerian President, President Muhammadu Buhari to fired a serving minister, the honorable minister of science, technology, and innovation, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu.
They made the call on Saturday, at a popular Arewa House in the Kaduna North Local Government through its Speaker, Mr Muahmmed Salihu Danlami.
Here is the full statement
Arewa Youth Assembly(AYA) on Saturday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, over his alleged role in the appointment of former acting Director-General (DG) of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos, Chima Igwe despite strong opposition to that appointment in 2019.
Buhari had directed the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to begin the process of Igwe for receiving salaries with a phantom doctorate for 18 years.
Similarly, Mr President asked the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, to allow the institute’s governing board to operate freely as it commenced the process of appointing a substantive boss for the institute.
Speaker of AYA, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, in a statement noted that the discovery of scandalous claims in FIIRO showed that the country is faced with alarming scandals in high places capable of bringing the country to its knees if Buhari fails to sack Onu to serve as a deterrent to others yet to be discovered.
According to AYA, “Mr Igwe has taken us 18 years back research wise. His act places a lot of questions on his ability as a research fellow he claimed to be. This is a huge setback for science and technology in Nigeria because the backbone of developing countries like ours is research which is saddled with this institute.
“It is even more disturbing that a supervising minister was not only aware but was instrumental to the destruction of such important institute right under his supervision.
While we welcome and support the president’s order for the prosecution of Mr Igwe by ICPC, his accomplices should also be made to face the wrath of the law for deceiving Nigerians.
Until his removal, demotion and more recently the order for his prosecution by Mr President, Igwe has paraded himself as a holder of a doctorate from University D’Abomey, Calavi, Republic of Benin, which earned him promotions in the past 18 years – the recent been DG of FIIRO.
“He wouldn’t have made it if not for the involvement and backing of the Minister for Science and Technology Mr Ogbonayya Onu. Shortly after his appointment, series of protests began to rise that rocked the FIIRO office which led to Mr Igwe’s suspension and subsequent lunch of investigation into the allegations laid against him.
Therefore, the minister has made a public display of his incompetence and his inability to steer the ministry in a proper direction as the ministry has remained where it was, with no meaningful projects to show, no advancement, no innovations and as such should resign and vacate the office.
If he finds it difficult to resign, President Buhari should go beyond mere issuance of queries, but relieve him of his appointment to have a way for a more competent Nigerian who is qualified with the capacity and capability to move the institute forward in the interest of the country”, he said.
Mohammed Salihu Danlami
Arewa Youth Assembly