ASUU Strike: NANS Leadership Is In Bed With Politicians | Emmanuel Usoro
By default, the NANS leadership is always composed of a compromised bunch of comedians that keep recycling themselves in the students’ leadership so as to cash-out big from the political class, considering the increasing unemployment rate in the country. We all know they are there for their pockets.
But, what we don’t seem to understand is their continuous disturbance of the student community by raising false hopes of possible repentance.
I know Nigerians do have a short memory, but recall, on May 1st, 2022, the revolutionary NANs President, Cmr. Asefon Sunday Dayo, in his usual tradition of baseless “social media agitation”, came on Facebook, issuing an ultimatum to the two major political parties in Nigeria about the disruption of their planned party primaries if the needs of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were not met.
In his words, “Let me say without mincing words, the two major political parties should forget any political gathering in Abuja or elsewhere except there is a solution to the lingering ASUU strike.” We will frustrate all the activities leading to the selection of party candidates if we remain on strike. We also want to advise the government and the politicians who are busy campaigning to be President to either resolve the ASUU crises or give direct orders to the security operative to shoot us at site during party conventions to select presidential candidate. If we remain on strike, they should just forget it.”
When I read this paragraph in the press release, I saw myself in a pool of laughter because I knew it was yet another beautiful and very articulate piece of social media “shadow chasing agitation.” Fantastic press release!
But, on the other hand, Nigerians are hopeful Homo sapiens. Since we are very religious people, our hopes are always full. I witnessed some folks arguing and supporting the NANS leadership that they were going to lead a massive protest to disrupt all political activities in the month of May like they promised. Well, I knew it was toothless campaign to deceive gullible students who are not aware of their gimmicks and tricks of cashing-out big from politicians.
On May 9th, 2022, the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), through her President, Prof. Emmanuel Osedeke, announced the extension of the strike for another 3 months. While we were trying to contain the usual show of shame by NANS, the NANS President, while reacting to the strike extension, immediately announced a national action, which he tagged “Operation Test Run.” According to him, the “Operation Test Run shall be held in all the 36 states of the Federation.” Federal Roads across the 36 States shall be occupied for a minimum of 3 hours. ”
He went further to add that, “the operation shall be a precursor to a total shutdown that will be decided during the NANS Senate meeting/pre-convention congress which was held on the 14th day of May 2022.” He even said, “The action shall be total as the extension of the ASUU strike is a direct declaration of war by the Federal Government against university students in Nigeria.”
According to the NANS President, the proposal to the NANS Senate meeting/pre-convention congress “shall be total blockage of the airport roads across the country and total disruption of political party primaries, blockage of the national assembly until they are committed to passing legislation banning public office holders from sending their children to university abroad.”
Recall, I stated earlier that the NANS leadership were a bunch of comedians. I will prove it to you.
The reports of the “NANS Senate meeting and pre-convention congress” from the Office of the Senate President, Cmr. Chuks Innocent Okafor, on May 19th, 2022, which was held at Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse, were made available to the general public and uploaded on the NANS President’s Facebook account.
Excerpts from the first paragraph of page 2 of the reports, under the heading, “STATE OF THE NATION,” were captured saying:
The NANS Senate appeals to all political parties in the nation to as a matter of peace and stability of the nation conduct hitch free primaries across board especially now that electioneering for 2023 general elections is generating political tensions across the country. Nigerians expect a politically mature, issue based and ideological contest that can transform and re-position our nation amongst the comity of nations other than the usual brigandage, thuggery and mudslinging. NANS Senate further urged ASUU to warn her members against being used by politicians to truncate the will of Nigerian electorates.
This is the same NANS who wanted to disrupt all political activities, turning around to admonish political parties to conduct “hitch-free” primaries.
This is the same NANS leadership that wanted to be “shot on sight” at political party primaries because of their planned agitation in the interest of Nigerian Students. As if that was not enough, they went further to admonish ASUU members on how to conduct themselves during elections. When these professors were supposed to be in our university classrooms constructing our beloved country’s future.
This is glaring that the NANS leadership is dining with the enemies (politicians) of our future. They have been bought once again.
As at today, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) are done conducting all of their primaries, except for APC, who recently postponed their Presidential Primaries to the 6th and 7th of June, 2022. In all of this, the NANS leadership has been spectators and onlookers. There has been no tangible action.
If NANS means business, they will mobilize student leaders and students in the different zones of the country and block all federal roads like what happened during the EndSARS protest. They would have invited the press, drawn the attention of international bodies, and in no distant time, the strike would be called off.
We do not need a talking system, but a working system that will end this annual ASUU plaque. It is time to go head on against the Buhari-led administration, which has continuously shown their clueless leadership towards adequately funding Nigerian universities and improving the welfare of our impoverished lecturers.
It is time for the NANS President to go off social media and take physical action. We have entrusted the student’s leadership circle into his hands, and we deserve positive results. It is pathetic that the strike has lingered this long without any tangible reaction from the student community.