Posted by News Express | 10 November 2022 | 754 times
By MAXWELL OGIRI
Electioneering campaigns are full of oddities, especially in Nigeria. It is not uncommon for some politicians to resort to desperate measures to hoodwink the electorates. In their bid to rescue their dwindling political fortunes, they hug the crocodile and kiss the snake. Some even dance naked in the marketplace with the false belief that doing so will endear them to the voter.
Recently, the incumbent Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District posted a most fallacious statement on his Facebook wall; a perjurious assertion that has caused a stir. In the press release, whose dubiously crafted phrasing gave the impression that Senator Abba Moro facilitated the presidential assent which passed the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo (FUHSO) Establishment Bill into law, it was stated that the senator sponsored the bill for the institution’s establishment on the floor of the senate. This, in essence, heaped all the credit for the presidential assent on the senator.
This is a misrepresentation of the facts. It is an attempt to mislead the good people of Benue South through the dissemination of false information.
The truth is that the bill which Mr. President signed to establish FUHSO was not sponsored by Senator Moro. It was an Executive Bill sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) and approved by the Federal Executive Council. Moro, like every other Senator and House of Reps member, got wind of it and supported it. Professor Ujah knows the true story of the bill’s arduous journey from the FME to the National Assembly (NASS) on to the presidential accent and the main architect is not even claiming credit for it.
Senator Moro’s bill was an unnecessary and futile effort. When the Federal Government approves and establishes an institution, a private Member’s Bill is unneeded is a mere exercise in futility. There are over 200 of such Private Members’ Bills like Senator Moro’s in NASS which have been ‘passed’ or are ‘pending’. They are but mere political gimmicks. They don't go anywhere because only the President can establish a university through the instrumentality of an NUC license. The NASS only provides the legal backing like they have done in the case of FUHSO. Without the Federal Ministry of Education’s ownership, any effort in the NASS is but playing to the gallery. The Senate President, Speaker, and NASS members are fully aware of this. For context, it is pertinent to note that Senator Gemade sponsored two of such bills, but none was ever established.
To further underscore the truth of this matter and to rebut Senator Abba Moro’s fallacious coveting and usurpation of the credit for the establishment of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, I shall quote the distinguished Professor Innocent A.O. Ujah, mni, OON, who is the Vice Chancellor of FUHSO. He said, inter alia:
“Dear colleagues, I have [the] utmost pleasure & delight to inform you that the Executive Bill establishing the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo was signed into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on 19th October 2022. I have been following up on the process that culminated in its being eventually signed into law. It is an Executive Bill from the FME while Arc Echono was the PS [Permanent Secretary] of the Ministry and we owe him a great deal of gratitude for all that he is doing for our university. We should note that there are many older universities that are yet to have a law guiding their operations. Once the law is gazetted, copies will be made available to the university. This is another milestone for FUHSO, for which we are eternally grateful to God, almighty.”
This testament which completely controverts the Senator Moro’s claims of sponsoring the bill which led to the presidential assent and establishment of FUHSO, is from a distinguished academician who was neck-deep in the struggle to obtain legal backing for the institution and is in the know about all that transpired to bring this dream to fruition. This truth exposes Senator Moro’s claims and insinuations as false, without merit, and without root nor a strong bough to hold on to.
Leaders must be honest. We are called to lead, not mislead. The propagation of brazen falsehood, the like of which Senator Moro published of late, is clear indication that the good people of Benue South should not trust him. This begs the questions: How many times has he misled the good people of Benue South? Does his word count for anything? Can he be trusted? From the available evidence, the answer is no! He cannot be trusted.
The good people of Benue need a Senator whose words they can take to the bank. They need a leader who would lead them, not mislead them. Choose wisely.
•Prince Maxwell Ogiri writes from Otukpo in Benue State.
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