Can Prof Anwuka Fly As A Minister Of State In Education? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Comment, Opinion

Can Prof Anwuka Fly As A Minister Of State In Education?

Posted: Nov 27, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Dr. Chuks Osuji

Incontestably, since the appointment and subsequent assignment of portfolio by the President, a lot has been said and written on individual Ministers. Some of those commentaries either tend to project the inevitable failure of those not well placed while others extol the prospects of eventual successes. Here in Imo State, the appointment of Professor Anthony Anwuka, without doubt was one of those hotly debated and vigorously discussed.

Initially, some did not give him chance to be selected or even nominated for so many reasons, including the fact that he is an In-law to the current Governor of Imo State, Owelle Okorocha, arguing that Buhari as a person could not tolerate obvious nepotic recommendation from Okorocha.


Others believed that since the Governor is from Orlu and the immediate past Minister of Education is from Owerri zone, that the next Minister should be from Okigwe Zone. As it often happens in Imo Politics, fairness and equity don’t seem to have any meaning because those who are now at the corridors of powers don’t factor such political niceties in their calculus. Besides, the people of the Okigwe Zone on their part don’t even love themselves, politically, not to talk of loving others. For this reason, political heavy weights from Orlu easily take advantage of these inadequacies in the behaviour of some Okigwe politicians who appear to be interested only in getting the Governorship perhaps, against the will of the Omnipotent God.

So, when three names from Orlu were branded, namely, Festus Odimegwu, Prof. Anwuka and Uche Nwosu, there was no lonely or distant voice from Okigwe crying loud and clear. May be that they were primarily pre-occupied to ensure that Emeka Ihedioha did not win at the Court so that next time around, it would be easy for an Okigwe person to become the Governor. What a myopic thinking? So, in a way, Okigwe people did not want to pursue the possibility of getting a Minister but preferred to go for a Governor in 2019. Even, some did not give Owelle’s recommendations the slightest chance, alleging that the President will not recognize any recommendation from any State Governor. But they forgot that Owelle is a very smart politician. He mixes his sweet tongue with allouring smile and secret negotiation which is often consistent and unrelenting. Secondly, they forgot that the profile and credentials of Anwuka made him an attractive political commodity to market. After all, of all the thirty six nominees, how many professors were there? Professorship does not just come easily and it is not like Doctor which could be easily purchased by making harmful donation to a University.

Unfortunately, those who wanted to fight it dirty went as far as wracking Anwuka’s record  at IMSU, wrecking it up with an absurd findings by special Tribunal. But to many of us, Professor Anwuka, a former Vice Chancellor of a University and a former secretary of Imo State Government and in fact, a sound Professor of Higher Education, when all is said and done is properly qualified to become a Minister of Education. Although many could say that he did not do well at IMSU, I disagree. I still remember that it was during his time that those who entered the University many years ago with fake credentials were made to drop out; their earned certificates cancelled or forced to start all over again. It would take a man with lion courage to do that.

Besides, he told me personally, when I went on courtesy call on him in 2001 that “I will not allow Imo State University to degenerate to a reformatory school.” Indeed, he cleared a lot of mess there. Many of us have forgotten that. Prof. Anwuka is a very smart person, some will say, crafty person. But according to Aaroan King, being crafty is neither a vice nor virtue. “Rather is a protective mechanism to self preservation.” Honestly, I see in him a man with foresight; hence he was smart to join Owelle’s Rescue Agenda as the first intellectual to do so. With a combination of luck it paid him off. Let’s wait, it may not be long before Prof. Anwuka could make it clear to the president and he would see that he is a sound Professor of Higher Education and therefore more than qualified to be minister of education.  Because in a way, Anwuka will bear the carriage of all the critical functions in the Ministry. Yet he will remain as a Junior Minister which he does not deserve. In a way “a baby dog cannot nurse a mother dog.” Certainly, water will soon find its level. But one advice, Prof. must know that he is representing Imo State and not one section of Imo State for which he was consistently accused of while in IMSU and as SSG. Today he carries the support and goodwill of entire Imo people.

Fortunately Prof. Anwuka is a team player who can work with anybody and cannot fell.

That will make him fly as a Minister of State.


Osuji, OON, FNIPR is a Special Event Coordinator