Sunday, November 3, 2013

ASUUStrike: Negotiating Through theBarrel of the Gun

Masterweb Reports: Issachar
Odion reports ] – The Academic Staff
Union of Universities (ASUU) has
overstepped the bounds of reason. To
say that most discerning Nigerians are
angry with the union is an
understatement. Whoever anticipated
that ASUU's show of shame would last
this long?
At first, we all sympathized with the
pedagogues, thinking they were
protesting to secure better learning
conditions for the younger generation.
Alas, we were wrong! Now, the varsity
teachers have made it clear that they
are more interested in their personal
comfort than the future of our nation.
At the beginning of the strike, the
union bought us over by presenting
poor infrastructure as the ostensible
reason for their action; yet even after
government has made concessions,
releasing 130 billion naira and making
a commitment to do even more, the
lecturers have remained implacable.
Isn't it clear that they have less than
noble intentions?
To make matters worse, ASUU has
resorted to ludicrous antics in a bid to
hoodwink Nigerians into thinking that
they are national heroes fighting for the
evolution of a better educational
system. Obviously, this is far from the
truth. Rather, they are simply using our
young ones as pawns in a ruthlessly
brutal duel to prove some political
point, which is best known to them and
their sponsors.
In times past, ASUU has called off
strikes even when their requests were
not acceded to. Why is it that they
have remained adamant now that
government is responding positively? I
am especially appalled at the manner
with which these people continue to
insult our sensibilities by maliciously
passing the buck to the government
and deliberately maligning well
meaning people like the Minister of
Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who
interestingly has nothing to do with the
whole thing.
Being a daughter of academics and an
academic herself, Madam Finance
minister understands the need for a
viable educational system, which
explains why she has played a major
role in ensuring that funds are released
to cater for the provision of
infrastructure in our universities. The
last I heard, 100 billion naira has been
released to put needed infrastructures
in place on our campuses.
Furthermore, the Federal Government
has also committed to spending N200
billion in the 2014 budget on the
universities as well as in each of the
next three-four years until the
universities are brought to world-class

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