Prepare For Revolutionary Change - ASUU Tells Nigerians
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged Nigerians to be ready for what it called a real revolutionary change, just as it described the change mantra of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as mere "cosmetics change."
At a Public Lecture and Distinguished Service Award held inside the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan on Wednesday themed "Good Governance: A Surgical Strike against Economic Recession", the President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, lamented that the Nigerian ruling class seemed not to have a template for governance or development.
"As long as that continues, we'll be regressing and not progressing. For those that are calling themselves progressives, we are yet to see the progress the progressives are building," he further remarked.
The ASUU President who was the guest of honour at the event organised by the UI Chapter of the union announced that the Academic Staff Union was ready to educate Nigerians on the development while challenging the populace to "stand up and take their future in their hands in a courageous and real revolutionary change, to be led by ASUU, which is set start from the walls of Nigerian universities".
Specifically, he stated that ASUU was ready to "engage the Nigerian state for many issues that affect us on good governance, especially to develop Nigeria and what is required to do so".
Addressing the teeming lecturers at the event, the ASUU President declared:
"Nigeria is our pride. In the diversity lies our strength and in unity lies the basis of our struggle.
"Comrades, ASUU is not pleased with what is happening today for at least three reasons. In the first place, as a union of intellectuals, we cannot stay aloof; We cannot watch helplessly while the ruling class continuing in its act of displacement of the country.
"What has happened in this country in the last 10 years or so should be enough to transform this country if not to another Japan, but at least maybe to another Malaysia or Singapore. But unlike Malaysia or Singapore, what was sold to us is Washington consensus. I am sure my colleagues will talk more about it.
"And that was what produced Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). What we're having now is SAP in another form. Somebody came up and said I will not devalue the naira, what is happening to the Naira today? Free fall. Somebody said I will increase the price of petroleum, what is happening now? The price is almost doubled! And it is not impossible that in another few months, if we don't put our acts together, I insisted, in another couple of months, we will just wake up and see that the price of pump price will be swayed.
"Is this the kind of change you asked for? A change without transformation, is this the change you asked for?
"Nigerians asked for change, Nigerians did not ask for second enslavement. Did we? That is why we must be interested in what is happening in Nigeria.
"It's like the Nigerian ruling class do not have a template for governance or development. As long as that continues, we'll be regressing and not progressing.
"For those that are calling themselves progressives, we are yet to see the progress the progressives are building.
"Freedom is not a free gift. It must be fought for. It's not a free gift. There is no nation that enjoys freedom without fighting for it and grows.
"Nigerians, we have not ask for our freedom, if that must happen, the change they're talking about must start from our campus.
"We must sow the seed of that change, the correct change. The change they are talking about is cosmetics. We are talking about revolutionary change. Are we prepared for that? We need to guard our loins, ASUU as a union is committed into doing that."
The Guest lecturer at the event, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, a management and financial consultant said "Good governance can trigger economic recovery as decision, execution and outcomes of government activities at the national and sub-national levels aim only at common good."
According to the him, Nigeria need a structural overhaul of the economy and the nationals must be ready to do things differently appropriately.