Eric Kanjal, a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has explained his “travails” after he was excluded from inauguration into the board of the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) where he was earlier appointed to serve.
He made the explanation in the following public statement posted on his Facebook timeline yesterday (Thursday, March 15, 2018).
“My beloved brothers and Sisters of Ogoja, Cross River State and beyond, I am obliged to make a public statement about our travails of the past 10 days. I apologize for not making this earlier, but with maturity comes meticulousness. Please pardon me. But here comes my tale.”
“After my said appointment that was published by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 30/31 of December 2017, there was jubilation by myself, my God, my family, friends and fans. That list of appointees was subsequently withdrawn to fill in replacements for the members who had passed on. Fast forward to March 5th 2018, while I was getting set for my inauguration on the 8th of March, I suddenly came across a publication on Daily Trust newspaper that showed the list of people to be inaugurated. I couldn’t find my name on the board of the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) an agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology. I immediately contacted the leadership of the party and government, using internal mechanisms to correct this anomaly before Thursday 8th of March. But I didn’t succeed.”
“However I pressed on because just two members were inaugurated and I knew my position as the third member of the board had only been delayed so I pressed on. At midnight of the 7th of March when it dawned on me that I wouldn’t be inaugurated, I called my people at Ogoja and across the country to ask them not to come to Abuja anymore. In doing that, I had to explain to the best of my ability what the issue was.
While the social media space has been awash with lots of tales, I had to visit the Hon. Minister of Science and technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in his office and we had an hour’s long discussion.
I apologized first for all what he has been exposed to, and though he is a public officer and is responsible to over 150M Nigerians, I condemn in strong terms the people who called and harassed, blackmailed and threatened his life or that of his family. I state clearly that I didn’t ask anyone to do that and I abhor violence or intimidation of any sort but peaceful defiance to correct any wrong is admonish-able.”
“That said, let me state a little of what transpired between the Hon. Minister and I. I told him that I visited his office as soon as my appointment was announced and got wind of the fact that the DG of the agency was bent on changing the President’s appointees despite the fact that he had been DG there for 10years and is due to retire, as the Act had stated two terms of 5 years and no more. I tried my best to see him and inform him that I had read the Act and the President was right about my own appointment at least, but his staff gave me no access. I told him what the Act stated. The Act stated that 2 out of the 3 appointees must be members of Nigerian academy of Science and COREN. The minister told me how it was COREN that sent its registrar or former as a member and I said it was fine. The second member was also a fellow of the Nigerian academy of Science so that quota was also filled.”
“The Act said 2 out of 3. It inferred that the third member could be a biologist, Pharmacist or anyone with a science background and without any knowledge of space science for that matter. Fortunately, the President chose me because I have a degree in Engineering and he alone had my CV. I also went on to distinguish my self in Satellite technology, Space Science and ICT. I’m stating a few here. I told him that:
1) After the announcement for my appointment I had made contact requesting that @Elon Musk arguably the smartest man on the planet, a South African/ Canadian born American billionaire worth over 20BN dollars and owner of Tesla to help develop our Space Transportation Center in Ipe, one of the agencies under NASRDA. If you are science inclined, you will record that his project Space X just took some Tesla vehicles to Mars turning the myth of Mars travel and habitation to reality.
2) I had approached Amazon to reset its bandwidth in a way that its digital assistant could be usable in Nigeria and I’m constantly in touch with them to achieve that.
3) I also started synergies with NIMET, NNPC, NDDC amongst other sister agencies to achieve optimal and efficient output from the agency.”
“Finally, I told him the agency under the present leadership was bound to fail. NASRDA is in some way is the NASA of the USA, but as I was sitting in his office, they didn’t have electricity, their website had been down for four years and they had less than 190 followers and only followed 13 people on Twitter. Whereas an individual like myself had more followers than the agency and NASA of the United States has 28M followers. I elucidated the benefit of twitter and the website. Well we talked a whole lot and I promised that if he helped get me on the board, I would open the agency to aids, grants and investment of up to to 10-100BN annually in very strategic and secure ways through global contacts that God almighty had blessed me with. I left his office after all and told him I would keep praying for him.”
“I want to state here unequivocally that the Presidency is aware and please let’s let the Hon. Minister have his peace please . It’s the absolute prerogative of the President to act and we pray he confirms his decision .
I want to thank the good people of Ogoja and Cross River State for their bi-partisan show of Solidarity. I thank you all.
Furthermore, I pray that we don’t take our eyes off the ball because Ogoja, Cross River State and Nigeria will be great again.
It is said that before your greatest miracle comes your toughest opposition. I pray that you believe in each other the way you have believed in me. Be hopeful always because there is nothing false about hope!
The word of God is explicit when it states “Those that know their God will do exploits”. I love you all and God bless us all.”
It would be recalled that the list of appointees that included Eric Kanjal‘s name generated controversy as soon as it was announced, when it was realized that it included names of some dead Nigerians. Although that anomaly was promptly acknowledged and corrected, it attracted outrage from some Nigerians. It is hoped that the APC-led Federal Government would put its acts together, to safe itself from the kind of avoidable gaffe that has equally accompanied Eric Kanjal‘s appointment and exclusion from inauguration.
At the time of filing this report, those who commented on Eric Kanjal‘s Facebook post mainly enjoined him to stay calm and retain his faith in God.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah