Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state is under attack by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, (ASCSN) over statements that President Muhammadu Buhari should auction the 104 Federal Unity Colleges (FUCs) in the country.
The group, through a statement, also advised President Buhari to distance himself from the attempts by El-Rufai to auction the Unity Colleges to private enterprises and state governments.
During the Founders Day programme organised by the King’s College Old Boys Association in Lagos, El-Rufai had advised the federal government to sell out all the 104 Unity Colleges to private companies and governments of each state, but ASCSN has asked the Buhari to disregard such a suggestion.
According to Vanguard, the statement signed by ASCSN’s Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, insisted that apart from the fact that the campaign was ill-motivated and designed for personal aggrandizement, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also used it as an anti-people education policy under the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
“We advise President Buhari to be wary of the likes of El-Rufai who wants to push him to enter into a collision course with the entire citizenry by embarking on this very unpopular policy barely four months after he assumed office.
“Besides, the Kaduna State governor himself should concentrate on carrying out programmes that will uplift the living standards of millions of Kaduna State citizens, particularly the poor masses who roam the streets of Kaduna and its environs in search of means of livelihood instead of embarking on self-centred agenda that will make qualitative secondary education a commodity only for the rich in the country.
“Thus, in 1966, the Balewa administration set up three Federal Unity Colleges, one in Warri for Western region, another in Sokoto for Northern region and the third one at Okposi for Eastern region.
“Today, the Federal Unity Colleges in Nigeria are 104 and records at the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, and the National Examination Council, NECO, clearly show that students of these schools excel in examinations set by the two bodies when compared with other secondary schools in the country,” the statement read.
The group noted that the unity schools, the Armed Forces, as well as the National Youth Service, among others, are the only institutions existing in the country to ensure unity and national consciousness, and any attempt to auction them would only breed disunity in the country.
El-Rufai, who had been rumoured to be in serious discord with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, released pictures to clear the air on the suggestions. He was also said to have shut down churches and seminaries in the state.