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Those who want university lecturers to die


Anyone who is capable in every honest way of nursing thoughts of justice which he wishes to encounter in every honest way that will move him emotionally or aesthetically, cannot but be perturbed at the plight of our university lecturers in the present time. And the present time is the time of ruthless and wicked Miss Corona the Virus, as we all know. And there is no one now in our country that is not vulnerable to the bat-miss, to the bat-witch, from Wuhan. No matter how highly placed anybody is or may be in our country now, the fear of the bat-witch of witches is the really ideal vaccine he or she needs to escape her onslaught.

And to fear the ruthlessly wicked one successfully with the intention or hope of out-witting her, one must far more often than not be in one’s room and always locking the door. This, in effect, will amount to a kind of curious social distancing that one needs to defeat she who must be un-obeyed and be defeated. But can any person or potentially vulnerable group in a conflict situation overcome the Wuhan witch which we know but do not see? This must be the dilemma of all our gallant lecturers in all our public federal universities (and their supporters in our various states’ universities) today.

As we all know, lecturers in our universities have deliberately been turned into a particularly vulnerable professional group by our governments, federal and states, over the years. Our respective governments have deliberately been making our lecturers to feel vulnerable and scared in our country which is becoming a strange place to them and other members of the society. Things seem to have come to a head in the present time. But the gallantry of ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) that the lecturers belong to has always stood them in good stead no matter the odds and no matter the whims of their traducers and detractors who usually are our governments aforesaid and their cheer-supporters – usually pro-establishment persons within and outside every government in this country.

Of course, our lecturers have for decades fought for the improvement of our universities. They have insisted that our universities should be universities that should not be vulnerable to infections that should not be burdens to the universities. But our governments don’t listen to what our lecturers through their union say and tender in any meeting between ASUU and the respective teams and delegations of our various governments. The public universities can perish. This seems to be the attitude of every government especially since the past ten years. And this federal government in particular that deceived us to enter ASO Rock has really proved to us that it is the master of deception and depravity of others outside its circle. But ASUU is having none of this posture of the federal government. After all, this government does not own Nigeria and Nigerians. Nigerians own GMB and all those in his circle, inner or outer circle.

ASUU’s most effective weapon has always been that of the power of speech and of persuasion. When that does not work, the union, as a last resort, embarks on strike as we are presently witnessing. Now, why is ASUU on strike? Why are the lecturers on strike, on a full-blown strike that they began initially by way of a declaration of a warning strike that was expected to last for one week or so in the hope that the federal government would listen and heed the lecturers’ power of eloquence?

To answer these two simple questions, it is better to aver here that ASUU’s officials can articulate their position better than the columnist. But suffice it to say that our universities are not on lockdown because of IPPIS (Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System) as the propagandists of the Federal Government have been dishing to the conned public via its anti-people media pretending to be what they are not. It is true that ASUU has rejected IPPIS and that it has offered its own alternative called UTAS (University Transparency and Accountability Solution). Why has the government’s team not gone to the negotiation table to demolish or outwit ASUU with its own logic? Why is the government’s team not using the instrument of persuasion to get the better of ASUU? And what of the un-fulfilled promises of government to ASUU at least since this central government came into power? As I said, I won’t make ASUU’s case for ASUU. The most gallant union in the land also has among its fold the most articulate articulators of ideas and positions in the land. So submit your attention to my reticence on this score.

My main concern here pertains to those who are wishing that our lecturers should die of hunger on account of the bat-woman, the bat-witch from Wuhan as already alluded to several times here. Because our lecturers who bluntly refused to have anything to do with the IPPIS of slaves have not been paid for three months, some persons there are who want the government to go the whole hog to do to the principled lecturers what the government is wrongly doing to them. They have bought government propaganda hook-line-and-sinker. Some of them even in some prominent media houses, print and electronic, have questioned the timing of the strike – and have “pleaded” with our lecturers to have a re-think. Some of them have even “argued” without facts and any ounce of verifiable substance that our lecturers should toe the line of government without giving any concession to ASUU.

One question I am asking all of them is this: So the government is always right? Maybe I should follow this question with a second question: Why are they not asking this government to do what is right for ASUU, Nigeria and Nigerians? A third question: Do they honestly like the way the central government is going about the business of governance in our country of dying lives? A fourth question: Why is it that it is ASUU that must be blackmailed or “appealed” to anytime government reneges on negotiated agreements with the union? A sixth question: Why can’t the gullible public and those who claim to be sincere and genuine arbiters between ASUU and the government bluntly tell the government to fulfill its obligations to ASUU and our country’s tertiary education? And my seventh question for now: Why are those who frown on or condemn ASUU’s strike option not offer the union, even in camera, what they perceive as an alternative option or alternative options to the strike instrument? In other words, if the strike weapon is not viable, what is the viable weapon or what are the viable options available to the union to get what it rightly deserves on behalf of Nigeria and Nigerians? ASUU is all ears to absorb and analyze their workable options.

Now let me say this finally with reference to the vulpine or vulpecular central minister of labour who requested university lecturers who did not subscribe to IPPIS to send their BVN numbers in order to get their seized salaries released to them. Medical doctor Ngige, the once-upon-a-time people’s governor indeed, has since shown his true colour as a vulturous as well as a vulpecular anti-people’s doctor. ASUU’s president has since given him and his cohorts a fitting reply that exposed their vulpine and vulturine tendencies. Our lecturers must be very conscious of this current.

In any case, the information available to me – and I am saying this authoritatively – indicates that President Buhari did not give the lecturers any condition for their seized salaries to be paid. Besides, he gave a dead-line of Friday, April 24, 2020 for all the lecturers to be paid in full. Those who don’t mean well for ASUU and President Buhari are doing as they please in their respective ministries and establishments on account of the current health situation of our country, which our president, unfortunately, typifies. By the way, did the president honestly give his consent and assent to IPPIS? I will spill no investigative beans.

Come shall the time when we will write from our hearts the true story and stories of all of them who wanted and still want our teachers, our lecturers and universities to die. We shall communicate each one’s sense of indignity and dream to murder our egg-heads and kill our universities. Then they will know that they don’t own our country.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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