By Abba Gwale
Barely few hours after Kano state government issued a statement, demanding for an apology from East Carolina University, and sanctioning of Prof Mbarika for scamming Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje with fake professorship, some Nigerians in diaspora have taken a swipe at the governor for the way his government handled the situation.
An academic and social media influencer, Professor Farooq Kperogi shredded government response for misusing words in its error-riddled official response about the fake visiting professorial appointment.
Kperogi, who’s also a columnist with the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper and a lecturer at Georgia State University in United State of America, said the governor is yet to refute the video evidence showing him “stuffing dollars in his babbar riga,” in apparent dig at how the official response referred to the governor as an “academician of refute (sic)”.
“Kano State’s SSG, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, has asked East Carolina University to apologize and discipline Cameroonian-American Victor Mbarika on its faculty who signed a fraudulent letter appointing Gov. Ganduje to a fake “visiting full professorship.”, said Kperogi.
He further added, “Good call, but the SSG spoiled it by calling Ganduje “an academician of refute” “Academician”? Which academy appointed him a fellow? And “refute”? What’s that? Well, as far as I know, Ganduje is yet to refute the videographic evidence showing him stuffing dollars in his babbar riga.”
Kperogi is known for criticizing Nigeria’s ruling class on public policies and bad use of English language, in his weekly column.
Another diasporan, who serves as an Assistant Professor (AI and Law) at Calgary University, Dr. Gideon Christian, alleged that Ganduje is one of the most corrupt Nigerian politicians whose most prominent record is being caught in a secret video accepting bribes from contractors.
“I read with utter surprise the purported appointment of one of the most corrupt Nigerian politicians Gov. Ganduje as a visiting professor in East Carolina University (ECU) in the US. The appointment letter was signed by one Prof. Mbarika who lauded the governor’s leadership record. He actually has none. The most prominent record the governor had was being caught in a secret video accepting US$ bribes from a state govt contractor. So, I decided to take the matter up with ECU, and this was the result. See pics below”, said Gideon while sharing a copy of letter the Carolina varsity sent to Ganduje denying ever appointing him to such position.
In the same vein, Professor Moses Ochonu of Vanderbilt University, tackled Ganduje’s audacity to issue a statement trying to play victim knowing full well he is as guilty as the scammer. “Governor Ganduje’s people are threatening to take action against the rogue ECU professor, Victor Mbarika, who issued him the bogus letter of appointment as a Visiting Professor of e-Governance and ICT.
“Mbarika should face whatever disciplinary action his employers at ECU deem appropriate for bringing the university’s name into such scandalous disrepute, but Ganduje’s claim of being duped by Mbarika is an empty victimhood narrative.
“The Governor was a self-conscious, self-interested participant in the scam, a willing accomplice.”
“Mbarika is only an opportunist, catering to Ganduje’s desperate hunger for international acclaim, a desire that probably cost him/Kano State a fortune and was perhaps intended to help mitigate his shattered domestic reputation,” he posted on his Facebook page.
It could be recalled that Sahelian Times had exclusively reported about the Kano state government’s plan to spin the scandal that rocked Ganduje’s fake professorial appointment. Investigations by Sahelian Times showed that the government didn’t send the letter it circulated to the press to East Carolina University.