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Guardian Newspaper Headline(January 24th,2019)

Lagos building collapse

  • Former Executive secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND),

Former Executive secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Dr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi, has alleged that he was sacked from office for refusing to give out kickback to the minister of education Mallam Adamu Adamu. Baffa’s appointment at TETFUND was terminated by the Federal government on Monday for reason not yet stated. Subsequently, the government announced the reinstatement of Professor Suleiman Bogoro to take over from Baffa. Bogoro was sacked by the same administration in 2016 for alleged high handedness. In an interview with BBC Hausa service monitored in Kano, Dr. Baffa said the minister of education had sent a contractor demanding to him demanding the sharing of N200 million meant to be disbursed to tertiary institutions in the Country.

According to him, ” The minister has demanded kickbacks from me. He sent a contractor for that purpose and even had the strength to dictate that amount of money. By his estimation, he said even if I deducted 10% from each institution, I would have collected at least N20 billion. “I want to assure you that I’ve never collected a single naira from any institution as he thought and if he or anybody has evidence to prove against me, I will be willing to accept the death penalty,” Baffa insisted.

Mr Baffa said the minister has accused him of inaccessibility, insubordination and talking to the press without his authorisation. Denying the minister’s allegations, Dr. Baffa claimed to have spent more time at the ministry education as technical assistant to the minister than he has at TETFUND, wondering why the supervising minister was against him.

Meanwhile the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Bayero University, Kano declined comments over the sack of Dr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).

When contacted ASUU zonal Chairman, Kano Zone and senior lecturer, Bayero university, Kano, Prof. Muhamud Lawan told The Guardian that, he has no comment on the development. ASUU Chairman, BUK branch, Prof. Barde Ibrahim also declined official statement on the removal of his predecessor. According to Prof. Barde, “ASUU is still understudying the development but for now, we don’t have any official statement to that regard”. But a senior lecturer from the university who wanted his name omitted claimed Baffa’s removal might not be unconnected to his political activities.

“Even though, the Federal government has not come out open to reveal his sins, but one can likely attribute his sins to politics and the kind of political activities he’s engaging as election draws closer, honestly he need to have maintained caution. Don’t forget the man is a public servant who occupied very strategic public office but the way and manner he was going about politics is not cherished”. Another senior ASUU member in the university, who also pleaded anonymity expressed shock over the development. He regretted Baffa’s sack at a time when his new policy framework was about yielding a positive result.

The former TETFUND boss is leading a strong political campaign platform tag “One 2 Tell 10 Buhari Support Group”, a movement fronting across the 19 Northern Nigeria solely for the reelection of President. But beyond the surface, Baffa’s sack was also orchestrated by the political powers for his alleged involvement in the Ganduje bribery video scandal, The Guardian learnt. Baffa’s political rivals in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused him of eying Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s seat. They alleged that Baffa had always identified with President Buhari’s campaign in Kano because of his political ambition.

Source: Guardian

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