A coalition of civil society organisations, Citizens Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), has called for the resignation of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, over the claim about his university degree.
The group, which maintained that the minister does not possess a first class degree, but an upper second class, threatened to stage a protest within the ministry’s premises in Abuja, if he remains in office.
The anti-corruption group stated in Abuja yesterday that the minister’s claim to have obtained a first class degree in law from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) was disturbing and embarrassing.According to the national convener of CATBAN, Ibrahim Wala, it is necessary for Kachikwu to face the music if found guilty, in order for the Federal Government to further boost public confidence in its ongoing anti-corruption war.
He noted that Kachikwu did, in fact, graduate from the university, but finished with a second class honours (upper division) degree. The latest certificate scandal is coming on the heels of the resignation of Mrs. Kemi Adeosun as finance minister for possessing a fake NYSC discharge certificate and the disqualification of another minister, Adebayo Shittu, from contesting the Oyo State APC governorship primaries after it was discovered that he skipped the mandatory national service on graduation.
But another coalition of youth leaders from nine Niger Delta states yesterday condemned the “attack” on Kachikwu. The youth leaders, who spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, described the development as unacceptable. Led by Prince Tonye Jemenimiema, an activist, the youths said that “frivolous allegations of operating a foreign account while holding a public office was laughable and mischievous.”
According to him, Kachikwu had a fruitful career in the international oil sector spanning several decades and worked in many countries before he rose to become a vice president at Exxonmobil until his appointment as minister. Jemenimiema, who is also president of Niger Delta Youth for Practical Development, blasted the interest groups seeking to discredit Kachikwu.
“It is interesting that the cabal is out again, masquerading in another guise with bogus allegations to demonise the gentle, God-fearing and upright personality in the face of the public.
“This is a man who brought transparency and orderliness to the system. One may ask, what is the reputation of the faceless group behind these spurious allegations and campaign of calumny? What have they contributed towards the advancement in the country? “We trust that the frivolous litigation will fall like a pack of cards and the judiciary will not sacrifice the innocent for the wicked,” he said.
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