The All Progressives Congress has said the decision of the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, to receive a honorary doctorate degree from a South Korean university while Nigerian universities have been shut for months was the height of insensitivity.
This was contained in a statement signed by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday.
The party said if Patience and her advisers had been perceptive enough, they would have known that embarking on such “a jamboree at this time is an assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians in general, and the students who have been marooned at home for almost four months in particular.”
The statement read, “In their eagerness to gobble up one spurious award after another, they forgot that if the Hansei University in South Korea had been shut by a strike because the government there has repudiated an agreement it willingly signed with the teachers, the institution would not have been able to give any honorary degree to anyone.
“A government that is unwilling to spend the nation’s resources on the education of its youths has no qualms about wasting the same resources for a junket by the First Lady and her cheerleaders halfway around the world for what is nothing more than an ego-massaging award.”
APC said the reasons given for the award of the honorary doctorate degree to the President’s wife were particularly interesting “She’s a humanitarian who has dedicated her life to working for the less privileged in Nigeria and Africa especially for women and children.
“Her vision as the defender of the poor in Nigeria fits into Hansei University’s motto of a practising Christian.”
The party said there was no indication that she and her husband were sparing any thought for the poor Nigerian students whose dreams for a better future had been put on hold by the long strike.
When contacted, the Director of Information in the office of the First Lady, Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba said, “I am not in Abuja presently, I will let you know if there is a response.”
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