ASSU Condemns FG Policies, Says They Are Anti-People
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday, lampooned the federal government over what it termed anti-people and slavish policies of the government.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said most of the policies of the administration have not reflected the interests of Nigerians.
He explained that even with the patience of Nigerians, nothing much has been done in their favour.
"Unfortunately government has failed to be an ally of the people and has handed over the economy to the neo-liberal agents with dire consequence for the country.
"The economy would continue to bleed and our people would be driven further into perpetual state of need and slavery. The manufacturing sector would become moribund and small and medium scale industries would then fizzle out.
"The economy would become uncontrollably import oriented. The magnitude of descent into slavery would be unimaginable. We are convinced that people must organise to reject the present policies that further pauperise the poor and consolidate the grip of an exploitative ruling class on the polity," Ogunyemi stated.
The ASUU President added that "alternative and patriotic position for the emancipation of our country from the shackles of IMF/ World bank and neo liberalists of the Breton wood ideology must be urgently encouraged. Our union is convinced that our people remain our most valuable resource.
"We insist that Nigeria must be governed by Nigerians who believe in our people and policy alternative driven by nationalistic interest for the good of our people."
He maintained that "the embraced neo-liberal political economic agenda by the ruling class has simply aggravated the deepening processes of Nigeria's under development. It has created a tiny class of billionaires who serves as agents of the capitalist institutions and an array of deprived citizens who are not better than slaves in their own country.
"The state withdrawal policy of government , selling of our Commonwealth, political violence, kidnapping and all other social, economic and political problems confronting Nigeria, confirms the failure and lack of vision of Nigeria's political class to propel Nigeria into development path.
"Nigerians must at this point confront the problems, ask questions and demand for answers on how Nigeria got to this stage, demand for alternative to neo liberal agenda that reinforces their impoverished conditions, frustrate their dreams and promote a tiny class of looters
On government lack of commitment to the educational sector, Ogunyemi stressed that "in the 2016 budget, the allocation the federal government made to education was in fact an embarrassing 8%.
"The consequence of several years of poor allocation of funds to education is the deplorable state of public institutions of learning at all levels, the near total absence of facilities for teaching and learning and the poor conditions of service for workers."
Speaking against the backdrop of the attempt by the Senate to amend the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Act, Ogunyemi said: "Instead of the parliament to address the issues with knowledge senate was rushing to amend the JAMB law along some specific interests of its members whose wards could not gain admission into some Nigerian universities under the existing circumstances.
"We understand that the senate is amending the JAMB Act in some ways that contradicts the existing laws of the university senate in admission of students.
"If the parliament carries on with this erroneous initiative, the results would not only be negative in tampering with the global best practice in the admission process in the Nigerian universities, but also diminish the status of the universities, which are currently facing the challenges of being among the best in terms o ranking in the world.
"Furthermore, if Senate carries on with the amendment of the JAMB Act without scientific knowledge of the problem and adequate policy relevant knowledge in what actually constitute the problems surrounding university admission process and the critical question of access, the while initiative will amount to throwing away the baby with the bathing water," he stated.