Outrage as Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, junior Education minister, joins presidential race despite ASUU strike
Project Nigeria is said to have obtained the expression of interest and nomination documents for Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, the Minister of State for Education, to run for the ruling All Progressives Congress‘ presidential ticket (APC).
The organization paid and picked up the form on behalf of the minister at the APC Secretariat on Wednesday, according to Abubakar Usman, special assistant on new media to Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
Mr. Usman made the announcement using his verified Twitter account, @MrAbusidiq.
Mr Usman tweeted, “The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, becomes the first person to pick the APC Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for the APC Presidential Primary after a group of Nigerians raised over N100m from where the forms were purchased for him.”
Mr. Nwajuiba has yet to declare his candidacy for the seat.
Ejes Gist Newspaper attempted to contact the minister but he did not pick up the phone or respond to a message left on his answering machine.
A copy of the receipt has been making the rounds on social media.
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It’s not uncommon to see political support groups acting as proxies for politicians.
Green Alliance Movement has been campaigning on behalf of Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, and has even purchased campaign cars for him.
Due to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the purchase of the minister’s form has elicited unfavorable reactions on social media .
Despite the fact that students at Nigerian colleges have been at home since February 14, when the strike began, many have denounced the minister’s purchase of the form as well as his presidential ambition.
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, whose ministry is legally responsible for managing labour relations, has also expressed interest in running for the APC ticket.
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“Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, and Chris Ngige are both running for President in 2023,” Alao Abiodun tweeted. Their approach(es) to ending the ongoing ASUU, NASU, and SSANU strikes are not purposeful, but they appear to be more interested in politicking. It’s pitiful. #ASUUstrike.”
This comes less than 24 hours after Orji Uzor Kalu withdrew from the contest due to the ruling party’s failure to zone the ticket to the South-east, where he is from.
Nwajuiba’s political journey
Before being named minister by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister served in the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 as a member of the now-defunct All Peoples Party (APP), and was re-elected in 2019 on the platform of the Accord Party.
After the FCT High Court Kubwa sacked Chike Okafor, Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State, and declared Mr Nwajuiba the winner of the election, he became a member of the House.
The verdict of the FCT High Court, however, was later overturned by the Appeal Court and then the Supreme Court. Mr Nwajuiba, on the other hand, was already a cabinet minister at the time.
During his time in the 9th House, he ran for Speaker but stood down in favour of Femi Gbajabiamila, the eventual winner.