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Reflections on ASUU and the constrictors

By Tony Afejuku
16 September 2022   |   2:46 am
Once again, necessity is compelling me to dwell on the FGN-ASUU imbroglio – which is becoming or has become bigger than an imbroglio. Perhaps we should call what the FGN is doing to and against ASUU ...

[FILES] Federal Government’s team and the National Executive of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Once again, necessity is compelling me to dwell on the FGN-ASUU imbroglio – which is becoming or has become bigger than an imbroglio. Perhaps we should call what the FGN is doing to and against ASUU a game of imbroglio? All positive hopes that our public universities on lock-down will re-open sooner than later are shrinking un-steadily second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and month by month.

Several persons have spoken and written and several more are still speaking and writing about this important issue that is now in the critical hurly-burly of our tertiary education. And after my last appearance here, I promised myself to keep quiet for sometime in the cherished hope that the constrictors who are gripping tightly the neck-muscle of our universities would withdraw their sphincters because they were more or less in touch with reality at last – especially after the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee honourably did their duty with unblemished integrity that the de-humanized constrictors in power never bargained for.

But I was wrong. We were wrong, my strict apostles and I were wrong. We were out-rightly wrong. We were dead wrong. And now I have to consume my promise and do what you may call honourable re-conversation with my good self. I have to re-converse with myself and re-equip myself with a whole rhetorical armour in support of ASUU, the academic union that never engages itself in a battle or war of blame.

As the whole wide world now knows, after trying all the tricks and games known to them and their adherents, the Federal Government of Nigeria ironically has dragged and hurled ASUU to the National Industrial Court. And we wonder why now? Why after all these un-easy and invidious months of un-easy and invidious divisions in NANS, Higher Education Stakeholders’ Forum, Civil Societies’ Organisations, Homes of Parents and Families of public universities’ students and other polarized places and establishments interested in the actualities of the return of our public universities’ students to their respective campuses.

Of courses, we know too well that the actualities of our students’ return to school will only happen if and when the central government does the needful and the rightful as ASUU has decently, need-fully and rightfully canvassed time after time well before and during its current strike that only became an indefinite, total and comprehensive strike barely three or so weeks ago. ASUU’s demands are in the public domain. In fact, they have been in the public domain since 2009 and beyond.

I don’t feel the need to go over them here and now. What is important is that the central government at different times have set up committees in which members of their own representatives have presided as chairperson(s) and came out with reports and memoranda written and accepted by the respective governments’ representatives and ASUU’s on the basis of collective bargaining. After the conclusion of each agreed-upon agreement every time ASUU had to labour considerably for the agreement to be actualized and implemented with embarrassingly ramshackle farce on the side of government that never puts life that is life into the mouth of its chief representative or chief implementer of any agreed-upon documentation.

It cannot be gainsaid that for a variety of purposes that will enable the federal government and its constrictors, that is, its boas, pythons and anacondas, to under-nourish ASUU and then squeeze it slowly but firmly out of breath, the almighty government always envelops its intentions in masks of poisonous or deadly beasts that are more poisonous and more deadly than deadly beasts. After setting up committees upon committees that time after time dispel its illusions, the almighty heartless central government and its constrictors within and without government and their sphere of influence and control are now in court to continue its torture of ASUU. I have a lurking suspicion that the government and its constrictors are out and are determined to straighten out the judicial paper in the mind of the judge in their favour. But I have no doubt in my mind that the lawyers of ASUU will stand up and rise to the occasion. They will put an end to the nauseating, revolting, dismal cruelty of this central government plagued by people without conscience.

For ASUU, there will and must be continuous resistance to this inhuman and inhumane government that is not prepared to humanize itself, but which we hope that the National Industrial Court can humanize with its judicial algebra of humanity. If this does not happen, the hurly-burlies that will follow will commit our land and universities to the darkness of perpetual nothingness of nothingness that is nothingness of nothingness. Exactly! Where justice that is justice rules and reigns and reigns and rules there shall never be any kind of hurling and burling. ASUU has a water-tight case.

And the union also has impeccable lawyers to bring its enemies to their knees with anguish through the means of judicial exercise that will constrict their pride, arrogance, vanity, dehumanized wishes and states. The lawyers of SERAP (Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project) that is also in the same National Industrial Court to rend to pieces the game of deceit and falsehood of the chokers and throttlers to death of our public universities. ASUU’s and SERAP’s lawyers will rise to the occasion, and with judicial profoundness that is not devoid of humility persuade the judge to make choices that will claim our public universities’ victory over evil.

ASUU, I foresee, will be sent to the mountain top. I keep in abeyance the meat and gem of our spiritual revelation(s). The union shall know no retreat, no surrender and no depression in its decently patriotic and patriotically decent struggle even in all the pertinent courts of justice as well against its constrictors. I can hear the knock of judicial thunder with my inner ears.
Hooray for Thunder!!! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!!!
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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