The Periscope Literati
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was not going back on its one-week intended warning strike scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 16, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the union’s National President, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone on Tuesday in Lagos.
The threatened industrial action has however faced aggressive reactions by some academics, Journalists, and critical thinking columnists who considered the threat as academically and morally unhealthy and as heartlessly unscholarly, defining ASUU as one lacking in integrity and moral sensibility.
Moses Ochonu Professor of history, is a Nigerian in Diaspora who has recently been tough on the nauseating sex for grade scandal, which the Nigerian lecturers were for the most part, alleged to be in confraternity to promoting and protecting the predator, culprit colleagues and the crime being shielded by the ASUU.
In his take, Prof Ochonu articulated that “ASUU is threatening to go on strike if the government insists on implementing the new IPPIS salary payment system on lecturers (a system that has already been implemented for all federal civi service workers).
“This putrid, outmoded union wants to go on strike if its members (whom, God forbid, should be subjected to any transparency and accountability mechanism) are not treated as special workers separate from others.
“This same union threatened to go on strike if the last senate passed the higher education sexual harassment bill. Their threat worked and the bill died.
“If there is a bigger example of a trade union that is a threat to the very industry it claims to represent, I have not seen it.
“If there is a trade union that is a bigger refuge for all manner of misfits, conmen, and predators, and a more determined opponent of progressive change and transparency in our country, I haven’t seen it.
“The question is, when will ASUU threaten to strike on behalf of the thousands, if not millions, of student-victims of lecturers’ sexual abuses, extortions, and tyrannical treatment of students?”
Contributing to the radical conversation, Onemo Daniel Ukagbu observed that “ASUU has outlived its usefulness, and should be dissolved or factionalised to reduce its potency.
“Gone are the days when ASUU fought for the good of the common man, championed the call for good governance, and fought tyranny especially during the military era.
“I recall vividly how lecturers of yore inspired students, thus making National Associations of Nigerian Students, NANS, a very powerful force. Culminating in the famous “Ali must go” protests in the 70s and the nationwide anti SAP protests or riots of 1987, all championed by NANS.
“—- Today NANS is docile entity while ASUU is a selfish, egocentric union, wanting the best for its members, at the detriment of Nigeria. Instead of opposing the stupendous salary and incomes of political office holders, they want same. That today many earned from N500,000 to over N1million monthly.
“In a country where over 90 million people are living in abject, extreme poverty of less than 2 dollars or N700 per day. They want to retire at 70 years, even when many presented no birth certificate but sworn affidavits. They want this, they want that, holding government on ransom. At same time they kept exploiting their students. Wanting money for grades, sex for grades and churning out unqualified people as graduates everytime, everywhere.
“—– In fact, today’s ASUU are group of people with no morals or consciences and are part of Nigeria’s problem or catalyst aggravating the Nigeria’s situation.”
Hitting harder, Ehikioya Hillary pointed out that lecturers shielding under ASUU “are academic bandits.
They are actually far worse-off than the politicians we tend to blame always.
“The politicians are even saints, compared to them. I have said it before, we place too much concentration on the politicians. ASUU is far worse-off.”
Izuddeen Dada was worried that “knowledge is for the most part, not been imparted to students by the lecturers.
“Graduates in Nigerian universities for the most part, are unemployable if not through the favours associated with godfatherism because they can hardly defend their certificates. One wonders how they even graduated with flying colors.
“We don’t manufacture vehicles or engage in automotive initiative. We still are in the stage of repairs for God’s sake. Yet ASUU does not see any need to go on strike. They however are challenging the mechanism of integrity. It’s really disheartening.