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ASUU and trickster beggars

By Tony Afejuku
09 December 2022   |   3:00 am
ASUU cannot but be in my mind. No matter how I try to give attention to something else, the issue of Nigeria’s most indefatigable, most patriotic, most absorbing Union keeps on cropping up in my cultured and frank and truthful consciousness akin to ASUU’s courageous and rugged consciousness. Before anyone misjudges my ASUU consciousness, let…

ASUU cannot but be in my mind. No matter how I try to give attention to something else, the issue of Nigeria’s most indefatigable, most patriotic, most absorbing Union keeps on cropping up in my cultured and frank and truthful consciousness akin to ASUU’s courageous and rugged consciousness.

Before anyone misjudges my ASUU consciousness, let me state urgently that this masterpiece of a Union, regardless of its flaws, is the only union in the land devoted and committed to pursuing a life of the severest and austerest contemplation that will or should lead the majority of our compatriots to enjoy a life of Paradisiacal enjoyment which university education was meant to create with un-ruffled dignity in decent lands which our founding fathers wanted your country my country our country to be as they earnestly programmed it to be despite our unique diversity. ASUU’s concern is and has always been the concern of the honourable and the truthful.

It is devoid of the concern of the respective post-colonial governments and their cohorts who always look down upon us from the heights of their false and baleful ideal of leadership. ASUU, rightly, won’t have any of their false and silly notions especially with respect to what they are turning our public universities into.

As we all know, ASUU returned from a well thought-out eight months strike induced by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the un-keeper of agreements. Clearly, this particular federal government is a genius or should be a genius when it comes to violating agreements derived from collective argumentation called collective bargaining. All the time the strike dragged on a lot of things happened. Needless to say, ASUU was committed to getting the absolute in terms of necessities for our university students and their parents and guardians, as well as all stakeholders, including the central and states’ governments from the standpoint of decency that is decency.

Different interest groups and personages in government and not in government begged ASUU to call off or suspend the strike. Even press and media personages were involved in the begging charade. The courts were also employed by the FGN to be part of the game. Those of us who maintained a respectful distance and wrote about it truthfully, decently, genuinely, objectively and absorbingly about the subject saw the triviality in the trivial affair and episode of begging. ASUU was also conscious of every action of the plot.

But because the great Union of sublime minds didn’t want to sound or appear as obstinately obstinate, and lawless in the eyes, mind and consciousness of each beggar (of integrity-less integrity) and Nigeria’s mysterious labour laws and justices without charm, it drove itself through the lanes of the landscape of tricksters.

Now what has meaningfully happened to members of the Union since the suspension of the strike of the members? They have been working diligently to make up for lost time that was not really lost. In fact, they have covered ample time and ample grounds. But what have they got in return? Nothing, I must say, from the disagreeable stories reaching me from various campuses from across Nigeria, from Benin, Awka, Nsukka, Lagos, Yenagoa, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State and other places in the North has genuinely happened. Everywhere ASUU members are nursing uneasy melancholies.

But they are not losing their radiance and charm – although a storm that is a storm is brewing with beauty and delight, although the Union may be strategically silent about it. In October, University lecturers and professors were paid daily workers’ emoluments. In other words, they were treated as daily workers without occupational tap-roots are treated. Their salary arrears for full nine months are still being denied them even though they have since tempered their students’ situations with the delightfulness and love of academic and intellectual labour.

And the situation that pervaded the public university campuses before the strike is still worryingly present in the campuses. The IPPIS bottle-necks that resulted in different problems which ordinarily each university should fix without qualms are still prevalent. Many staff are still being owned back-logs of remunerations and many are being given wrong dates of retirements through deliberate acts of mutilations of their employment records.

These have since been brought to the attention of the pertinent IPPIS record keepers in Abuja yet nothing is seemingly being done to right the errors. These are crimes that are not imaginary in any way. All these and more deliberate acts of omission and questionable commission are brewing a storm that no trickster beggars will have the means to avert this time around even if the heavens heavily fall.

It is also un-reasonable for the FGN to give the impression that they will in no way honour the matter of the agreement that led to the suspended nine months strike. Let me say this pointedly: ASUU must not be allowed and tempted to hark back to the past. But if it must it will with or without a bang that is a bang.

The trickster beggars who begged ASUU to suspend its strike should beware. So far they have kept mute since ASUU’s complaints of the multiplicity of its travails after the suspended strike. None of them has uttered even a word of honey to sweeten ASUU’s transparent and plain sense of patriotism and high moral values that the FGN is still deliberately puncturing. No one is begging government now genuinely to see reason and give to ASUU what is ASUU’s.

Suddenly their sense of fairness or of justice or of splendid pictures of what is good for the gander that must be good for the goose is subtly no longer in existence.

As I was writing this in the night of Monday, December 5, 2022 I took some pretty time off to watch the Brazil versus South Korea Round of Sixteen match in the on-going Qatar FIFA World Cup. Everything about honour, genuine love of and for agreement, beauty of patriotism and delightful friendships derived from football gathered a pleasant circle.

The team that lost lost fairly. The team that won got victory fairly. The centre referee and his fellow referees who ran the lines and the VAR officials strikingly paid their respects to the collective acceptance of the rules of the game which is the rule of law of the beautiful game. I got the same impression in the earlier game of the day between Croatia and Japan which the latter lost fairly without equivocation via penalty shoot-out.

And I remembered the scoundrelly past and roles of all the trickster beggars and government people, the polifoolicians who went against the ethics of collective argumentation and collective bargaining (another name for collective fairness) and of sincere and undiluted begging in the ASUU-FGN imbroglio. Of course, I similarly remembered the justices of the courts, trickster justices, who did to ASUU what bad names in politics do to the afflicted that needs a just judge, and a daring one to boot, to cure him of his affliction.

This columnist will always renew his courage and play by the rules and ethics of the prince of justice who forever desires to cure all the afflicted suffering from the affliction placed on them by every action of the unjust.
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! Thot! Thunder!!!
Afejuku can be reached via +2348055213059.

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