The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, who is grappling with prostrate and urinary ailments, has been flown to the United States for treatment, The PUNCH learnt.
A senior director in a parastatal in the ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, said it was not a very serious matter.
“It is the normal sickness of old people, prostate problem. But it is not a very serious matter. It is just that he decided to rest in the US. As far as the education ministry is concerned, he is not very sick. It is not like he collapsed or anything,” the source said.
When contacted, the minister’s Special Assistant (Media and Communication), Anthony Akuneme, confirmed that he was sick but said it was not a case of poison.
He said, “No, who told you that he was poisoned? What I am telling you is more authentic. It is just normal illness. The minister went for a routine check-up to the United States. He travelled last week and is expected to be back on September 16. He was at the last FEC meeting before he travelled.”
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had earlier at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday disclosed that Anwuka was receiving medical treatment in the US.
Adamu, who spoke at a press conference to commemorate the 2017 Teachers’ Day, with the theme, ‘Teaching in freedom, empowering teachers,” directed that prayers be said for Anwuka, so that he could “return to the ministry in good health and continue this task of nation-building with us.”
Anwuka, 66 years old from Imo State, was the Vice-Chancellor of the Imo State University, Owerri, and a former Secretary to the State Government, before becoming a minister in 2015.
Adamu announced the effort of the Federal Government to empower teachers, saying, “The Federal Government in its efforts to empower teachers has taken strategic steps over the years to develop an institutional framework for teacher education. The administration attaches great importance to teacher education in the country.
Through the National Teachers’ Institute, we have produced 36,688 teachers through the regular academic programmes. We have also trained 1,246 newly recruited teachers employed by the Kaduna State Government in 2016.”