THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) just reached for the tar brush, declaring itself fierce champion against an alleged private universities-Federal Government conspiracy to kill public universities. Impressive!
But who doesn’t know ASUU, under its current leadership is, more than anyone, the de-marketer-in-chief of public universities, with its penchant for insensate comments and insensitive demands, primed to benefit no one but its cocky self?
It’s true. Patriotism is indeed the last bastion of the scoundrel! Imagine ASUU, as self-sworn defender-in-chief of public universities! It really must be seeing a drugged image of itself, in a skewed mirror, in a bout of double delusion!
Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, the ASUU president’s bluster, at an Ilorin, Kwara State, town-and-gown meeting, was really rich, when taken live: “The issue is a calculated attempt to de-market public universities, by owners of private universities together with Nigerian rulers. There is also this attempt to underfund these public universities to make them surrender.”
Empty emotive blusters often fly on the wings of sweeping generalizations; and Ogunyemi’s “private universities with Nigerian rulers” fits pat into that bubbly frame.
True, underfunding public universities is a valid issue. But how has ASUU itself helped here?
Okay, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Vice, Atiku Abubakar, stand fairly charged with abandoning public universities in their care to found private universities.
But since their exit, no Nigerian president or Vice President has attempted such outrage. So, how does Ogunyemi’s sweeping “Nigerian rulers” fit in, as if the Obasanjo/Atiku betrayal was a subsisting official policy?
It is true: a particular private university owner always uses public universities as insensitive battering ram to promote his investment. But Hardball here too has lost no opportunity to call him to order. Aside from him, there is hardly any other private university promoter, that does such frontal de-marketing stuff.
Even ASUU, that now wants to posture its fizzy love for public universities, how has it walked its gaseous talk, in concrete actions? Common digital streamlining of dons’ salaries to root out sleaze and other illicit advantages, it is stonewalling.
By the way, how many of its peacocky dons have their children or even wards in the beloved public universities Ogunyemi crows about, in his amusing finger-pointing?
Now, it’s COVID-19 season — what contribution has ASUU crack scientists made to getting the Nigerian vaccine, like their peers elsewhere, in the global race for one?
All ASUU is resonant on is stonewall university resumption, while drawing full salaries for lazing around, if it is not screaming to remind everyone of its so-called strike, COVID-19 be damned! What cant laced with patriotic greed!
The silent majority of reasonable academics had better rally to sack this current ASUU executive; and vote in a fresh one, for a fresh direction, which their union badly needs. Right now, ASUU heads nowhere but proud perdition!