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Varsity lecturers’ poorest December

By Tony Afejuku
31 December 2021   |   3:55 am
Today Friday 31 is the last day, the very last day, of the fabulously eventful year called 2021. Our local historians and chroniclers and recorders of events will have much and much to say about this year which rolls out of our lives for good very, very soon.

Leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)

Today Friday 31 is the last day, the very last day, of the fabulously eventful year called 2021. Our local historians and chroniclers and recorders of events will have much and much to say about this year which rolls out of our lives for good very, very soon. Many, many things will roll out of our nibs about this year which by twelve midnight today or by one minute past twelve midnight tomorrow morning will definitely cease to be. And a new cycle will begin for us – a new cycle of old things, of old ways, of old manners, of old attitudes, of old this and that and of old these and those. And the Gregorian calendar we worship and obey will keep on being what it is since the revised Julian calendar was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII (Gregory the 13th). But must changeless change in your country my country our country, continue?

Let me answer urgently. No. Changeless change must not continue in this land – your land my land our land. We must put an end to our Gregorian calendar that cannot be said to blossom or prosper our land. What do we need to replace it with? Answer: Revolutionary calendar. Phew!!!

What is giving – or what has given – me this notion which may raise several difficulties and encumbrances which I don’t feel the need to illustrate now. For now, let me stop tormenting my readers and admirers and detractors with suspense.

I feel severely the pains of lecturers (and non-academic workers) in our public federal universities. Over the years our central governments pretend not to know and understand the peculiar situation and natural assets of our university lecturers. The reigning civilian central government in particular has treated our university gems and egg-heads far worse than any military regime or government had treated them in times past. This is a central government like no other. In fact, this central government of PMB forbids any attempt to make the circumstances of university lecturers splendid, favourable and advantageous in accordance with their special and peculiar training and broad knowledge without limitations, which cannot realistically be compared or identified with others either by description or name.

The ivory tower is the ivory tower. Without the ivory tower every society, every country and its institutions will be rudderless. As we all know or ought to know, a rudderless ship is ill suited to its task. Your country my country our country is such a rudderless ship that has been drifting rudderless. It has been such a rudderless sort of age, which our Gregorian calendar detests and abhors.

Our university lecturers time after time have argued convincingly and demonstrated soundly that our central governments, military or civilian, have infringed on the rights, liberties, the distribution of wealth and incomes and other incentives and advantages as applicable to the ivory tower. In other words, all social values, including all social bases of self-respect, are distributed in the land un-equally, unjustly and disadvantageously against our university dons (and supporting staff). For example, high court judges, permanent secretaries and directors in the various ministries, political office holders at all levels of governance, and policemen to boot are far better remunerated than university lecturers. And university lecturers taught (and still teach) the listed “professionals” and personnel above, many of whom are lay-about. What injustice! Swine! Are university lecturers owned by them? Are university lecturers (and non-academic workers) owned by this central government? Are university lecturers and teachers goods owned by this central government that is treating them as such and distributing them in line or in accord with some prepared preferred scheme? What an ingenious government more ingenious than our ingenious lecturers of super-gifted heads of ingenuity! Of course, what can be more cruelly ingenious than tyranny? And who can be more wickedly ingenious than the tyrant in power, government and in authority anywhere?

Very recently, well before Christmas, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) announced to the central government and the public at large that it would resume the strike it suspended some months back. The reason the Union gave for its intention to resume the suspended strike was simple. The central government was not prepared, as always, to play its crucial role in determining university lecturers’ legitimate entitlements. We can imagine vividly the fall-out of the lecturers’ announcement through their principled Union. The Speaker of the House of Reps and other government officials met with the lecturers’ representatives and were required to communicate with the central government’s team and other intermediaries. It was expected that all alternatives that would be suggested and the reasons offered in their support and acceptance would be announced without any dilly-dallying; and the implementation of all long-standing agreed alternatives would begin in line with the cherished ideal, principle, reality and process of “distribute justice.” As usual, the central government has failed to do this and has made last minute adjustments to the chagrin of the lecturers – who have just witnessed the worst and poorest December in their professional and working lives. Their emaciated salaries were deliberately not doled out to them in this Christmas season of grave hunger in merriment.

December 2021 ends today. As I write this I can picture vividly many of them who languished in burdensome wallowing pain of pains. Our university lecturers must be ready strategically and very strategically for a Revolutionary calendar in the New Year. And the Revolutionary calendar must endure. All obligations must be denied all the performers of injustice. Past injustice must not be allowed to shape our ivory tower anymore. And no excuses of whatever complexion should be tolerated or allowed to sail in our rivers, fly in our skies, crawl in our deserts, ride in our savannas, climb our mountains, drive on our highways, swim in our swamps and hunt in our forests.

O! What a terrifying December! What a poor December, the poorest ever for our University lecturers! University lecturers must upset the pattern in the New Year. Things cannot be worse than they are now for them. They must say enough is more than enough of sick, poisoned salaries and diseased entitlements even in December. Thunder!!! Let no encumbrances strike fear or any iota of fear in them. THUNDER!!! We cannot forget our supremely daring Wole Soyinka: The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny. And Friedrich Nietzsche also must inspire our university lecturers to dare that which they must legitimately and justly dare. Thunder!!! The calendar of exploitation must be banished from this land: your land my land our land. And banish as well the calendar of tyranny. Banish!

Thunder!!! Welcome. Banish!

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.