ASUU wants Buhari to declare emergency on education
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the education sector, insisting that except the industry was fixed, “our problems may be multiplying.”
Its national president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who addressed newsmen at the end of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, also decried the poor living condition of Nigerians, which he noted, was forcing the citizens to flee the country.
He regretted that the critical sectors of the national economy had continued to deteriorate on account of alleged wanton corruption and mismanagement of public resources by the ruling class.Flanked by the chapter chairman, Dr. Adebayo Oni, and other leaders, Ogunyemi also urged Buhari to capitalise on the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa to reposition the nation.
He said Nigerians would not have been forced to join the increasing army of global ‘migrants’ and ‘wanderers’ in search of the elusive greener pastures were their country economically buoyant and politically stable.
The ASUU boss said as the Federal Government begins the evacuation of Nigerians from the former apartheid enclave, a sustainable welfare package should be activated for the returnees.He feared that the pervasive insecurity, youth unemployment, ethno-religious conflicts and other criminal acts in the polity were ominous signs that the nation was failing.
Ogunyemi submitted that if Nigerian leaders fix the country, the citizens would prefer to stay back and contribute their quota to national development.His words: “We have the resources to compete and beat South Africa on any grounds such that the respect would be mutual. But, today, they see us as dependent, inferior and people they could just discard with.
“If you go to South African universities, about 50 per cent of their top notch scholars are people from Nigeria or tutored by Nigerians. The academic and intellectual community in that country respects Nigerians. But, when you now start to compete with their income section, there is bound to be conflict.”
The ASUU president added: “If we fix our country, South Africa will respect us. We lost our respect the moment we could no longer cater for our citizens. Even if we bring back people from South Africa and we do not have plans for them, they will still find a way of going back. “ASUU believes that Nigeria is not inferior to any country in this world. What we only need to do is to get our acts right and fix our country. By then, even leading countries in the western world will respect us.”
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