The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has reacted to the the hardship created by the newly designed naira introduced by the Central Bank describing politicians behind the policy as “selfish, unpatriotic and self-renting”.
ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, made the remarks in statement made available to the public on Friday.
Osodeke said Nigerians were gasping under the suffocating atmosphere created by the ruling class. It noted that governments at the federal, state and local government levels appeared enamoured of policies which aggravate the suffering of Nigerians.
“Our union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, has had cause to condemn the anti-poor policies of governments in the education sector. While the ruling class virulently attacked ASUU for insisting on government’s adequate funding of universities and paying a morale-enhancing remuneration for Nigerian academics, the children of the poor now know better, going by a gale of anti-fees protests resonating across the campuses.
“Word on the street is that triggers for the new wave of brain drain, called the Japa syndrome, are not unconnected with the debilitating working and dwelling environment. Added to this are the scornful treataSments given to academic and medical personnel whom other nations treat as treasures of inestimable value, and aversion for collective bargaining evident in anti-labour policies such as ‘no work, no pay’ and ‘divide and rule’.”
He stated that the Supreme Court ruling which halted the February 10 deadline should mitigate the aggravated suffering of Nigerians, noting that the crisis had affected every sector of the economy and would require serious efforts by developmental economists to fully determine the magnitude of its damage.
He added, “The ambush tactic of Godwin Emefiele to ‘eliminate cash’ was applied in India in 2016 with unsalutary consequences. So, ASUU commends the Supreme Court for taking sides with suffering Nigerians whose miserable lives would have been compounded by Emefiele’s policy if they are not sent to their early graves by it.”
He said the naira scarcity, non-availability of petroleum products and the fraudulent subsidy regime were unfortunate, noting that local refineries could work if the leadership had the will.
He added, “As Nigerians continue to lick the socio-economic injuries inflicted on them by unpatriotic, selfish and rent-seeking politicians, the more the country sinks deeper into the abyss of poverty, unemployment and under- employment, preventable diseases and death, insecurity, ignorance and misery.
“In the face of the life-threatening stagflation, the political class carries on as if nothing is amiss. So, rather than abating, the cankerworm of corruption is gaining deeper roots each day among those Nigerians entrusted with their collective patrimony.”
He noted, “We do not subscribe to the speculation about some fifth columnists who were out to truncate the transition. However, ASUU calls on Nigerians, irrespective of tongue, tribe or religion to stand for deepening and defending democracy.”