Dismissed Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro is pleading with Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka to rescind his decision to terminate him as the Minister on the grounds of insubordination and failure to comply with directives.
In a media conference, Radrodro has apologised to the Fijian public and to relevant stakeholders of the Ministry of Education for the chaos that ensued following the Prime Minister’s decision last Friday.
In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Radrodro said he is baffled by the reason outlined by the Prime Minister for his dismissal and it is now clear that his termination is in relation to the appointment of Council Members, the Chancellor and the Chairperson of the Fiji National University Council.
Radrodro clarified that given the provisions of the FNU Act, particularly under Section 28 and 29 on the appointment of the Chairperson of FNU, it is not within his powers to lawfully abide by the directives of the Prime Minister to appoint Dr Seniloli to the position of Chairperson.
He said, as the Minister Responsible he was required to consult the Council as strongly advised by the Office of the Solicitor-General for compliance.
“This morning, I have communicated to the Prime Minister that throughout the handling of the FNU issues, I have held the best interest of the Coalition Government, listening to advise and auctioning requests by Cabinet Members of all political parties forming the Coalition, and I have done my best according to law, to protect Government.”
He has also apologised to the Prime Minister for his delayed responses perceived as acts of wilful disobedience and deemed as insubordination.
Radrodro said he has informed the Prime Minister that as an auditor, he takes liability very seriously and this is the attention that is given to his work daily.
“I am hoping for good sense to happen, as it must be accepted that it is unlawful to terminate someone who is upholding the law, no matter how difficult or frustrating that may look like.”
“This is what all ministers must take heed of as precedent is being set in my position as the Government that promised change, we cannot be seen to be doing the exact behaviour we all fought hard to change.”
Radrodro has also advised the Prime Minister that he needs to be more cautious to advice rendered to him from those who may not be providing full disclosures of work being carried out.