Strike: NAS backs ASUU, blasts FG over disdain for education
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has blamed Federal Government’s disdain for education as the cause for the prolonged industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
It has therefore demanded that the Federal Government puts its act together and take immediate steps to resolve the impasse by acceding to the demands of the union.
The NAS Capoon, Mr. Abiola Owoaje in a statement entitled ‘‘FG’s Hollow Hubris Prolonging ASUU Strike’ described the arrogant stand of the Federal Government as “ill-conceived, reckless and insensitive to the plight of students, parents, the university system and Nigeria as a country.”
While noting that the Federal Government has demonstrated insincerity in its talks with ASUU over the years accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being uninterested.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s aloofness to critical issues such as the ASUU strike is disappointing. His Ministers taking a cue from him have treated the issues raised by ASUU with levity and utmost contempt. The trio of Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, the junior Minister, Festus Keyamo, and their education counterpart, Adama Adamu, have largely exhibited incompetence in their handling of the ASUU’s industrial action. Bereft of any cogent reason not to implement the 2009 agreement entered into with ASUU, they have been unnecessarily confrontational, obfuscating facts and spreading outright falsehood in the attempt to break the psyche of the striking lecturers, force the union to abandon the principle of collective bargaining and ultimately incite the Nigerian people against ASUU” he said.
Owoaje who stressed that the Nigerian government has over the years provided inadequate funds for education including for university education which does not meet the criteria of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), called on the government to make education a priority.
“The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) views the ongoing strike as detrimental to national interest and calls on the Federal Government to put its act together and take immediate steps to end the strike. We reject the explanation of the paucity of funds being canvassed by the Federal Government as another subterfuge to shy away from its responsibility to ensure education is a priority. If education is made a priority as it should be, funds would certainly be made available for the sector like other funds used to fund the profligate excesses of its officials.”.
Owoaje recommended to the Buhari government to rally the National Assembly to make special budgetary provisions to accommodate the funds needed by ASUU adding that to resolve the impasse as soon as possible funds from the Service Wide Vote (SWV) could be deployed to fund public universities.
He also tasked the government to demonstrate sincerity in plugging all revenue leakages and implore President Buhari to convene a national summit on education to salvage tertiary education.
“More so, the Federal Government should plug all revenue leakages to have more funds to take care of pressing developmental needs. The funds stolen by the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris for which he now seeks a plea bargain would have been available to meet part of ASUU demands if the government had been sincere with plugging all revenue leakages in Ministries Departments, and Agencies (MDA).
“In the nine months remaining of his tenure as President, it is incumbent on President Buhari to seize the opportunity of the ASUU strike to end the constant industrial action in the university and other tertiary institutions. He should convene a national education summit with a special focus on tertiary education.
“The summit should involve all stakeholders in the tertiary education sector with significant contributions from the private and voluntary sectors. President Buhari must make it a conscious decision to leave a lasting legacy in the education sector. Solving the misery of public universities once and for all is a veritable step towards leaving a positive legacy.”
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Osodeke, ASUU President to deliver 14th Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities,( ASUU) Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke will on Friday February 3 deliver the 14th edition of the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture at Akin Deko Memorial Lecture Auditorium, University of Benin, Benin, Edo State.
Prof Osodeke will be speaking on the theme: State of Tertiary Education in Nigeria: Identifying Historical Issues and Misconceptions; Contemplating Solutions.
The lecture , an initiative of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) was instituted to honour one of its founders, Ralph Opara, a prolific writer, producer and broadcaster.
The NAS Capoon , Mr Abiola Owoaje in statement said over the years, the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture series has emerged as a veritable platform for interrogating topical national and global issues, for engendering and promoting good governance, accountability, democracy, citizens’ participation and economic development.
He disclosed that previous speakers of the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture include Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, a former President of ASUU, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Dr. Sam Amadi, Mr. Femi Falana and Dr. Hussani Abdu.
According to Owoaje this year’s lecture focusing on tertiary education was borne out of the disturbing decadence that pervades Nigeria’s higher institutions.
He stated that as an organisation founded in a university campus that draws its membership strictly from the intellectual pool of university and polytechnic graduates, “we are worried that our higher institutions have lost significant value as citadels of learning due to poor funding, lack of infrastructure and adequate educational and recreation facilities, while becoming a breeding ground for gangsterism, violence and criminality.”
He pointed out that the lecture seeks to address the multifaceted problems in Nigeria’s higher institutions which includes infrastructural development, the scourge of cultism and the perennial indifference of the Nigerian government to the development of higher education in the country.
He disclosed that the event will be chaired by Prof. Temi Akporhonor (Dean, Post Graduate School, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State) and the special guest discussants include Dr. Joan Oviawe Honourable Commissioner for Education, Edo State), Dr. Osagie Obayuwana (Former Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Edo State) and Prof. Samuel Ovenseri Aibueku (Former Director, Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB), University of Benin).
The event is expected to attract members of ASUU, university administrators including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU), students of tertiary institutions, civil society organisations and the Media.
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SEADOGS, PYRATES CONFRATERNITY, ASH MONTANA DECK, CALLS FOR REFORMS IN EDUCATION
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, Ash Montana Deck, has advocated reforms and systemic changes in the educational sector in Nigeria, as this will help to achieve a secure, just and progressive society and future. It noted that the country should think outside the box to come up with an educational system and structure that is constructively and productively be forward looking in positioning us for the future and creating the kind of society we desire. It added that instead of adopting and or adapting systems from other climes, we come up with a home-grown hybrid educational system and policies suitable for our unique experience. This call was made during the programme, Panorama on Splash 106.7 FM, Abeokuta, Ogun State, in commemoration of the International Day of Education on 24th January, 2023.
The association reiterated that education is important for a viral society; and without education, there will be no civilisation and no development. Therefore, the government and all stakeholders should, as a matter of urgency, prioritise education for peace and sustainable development. While reacting to some of the problems of education in the state including the issue of out-of-school children, decline in educational development, and lack of interest for education by children and youths these days, the association opined that several factors may be attributed; including, inequality, poverty, insecurity, infrastructure decay, our eroding value systems, violence, and the rather retrogressive, obsolete educational system and policies that seem not to be positioning us to compete globally in the ever changing and emerging dynamics of the world. It appeals to the government and other policy makers to stop paying lip service in addressing the problems be-deviling education in Nigeria. Adding that there should be sincerity of purpose in policy thrust, promises made and their implementation. It added that corruption with its rippling effects is equally at the heart of the problems. Tackling corruption and corrupt practices will go a long way. The association further added that the government should do more to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living for families; provide social amenities for the people; provide and or improve infrastructures in schools.
The International Day of Education is celebrated globally every 24th January to emphasize the importance of education for global peace and sustainable development. Education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goal 4; education is a human right, a public good and a social responsibility and everyone is entitled to it, irrespective of age, gender, status, creed and any attachments. With inclusive, equitable quality education, lifelong opportunities can be created for all; individuals and society will develop, and the cycle of poverty will be broken (unesco.org). The global theme for this year’s celebration is: “To invest in people, prioritise education”. An idea that society will develop and progress when it invest in its people through their education. Still in line with the essence of the event and the theme of course, the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) Ash Montana Deck, adopted the sub-theme: “Reinventing our educational system for a secure and progressive future”. This is contained in its call for educational reforms.
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious and detribalised organisation whose aim is to promote a society that upholds human dignity, that
is just, humane and progressive, where no one is a victim of colour, race, gender, ethnic origin, belief, social status, creed or other
discriminatory factors of a similar nature through the use of advocacy and activism, investigative
research, education, public enlightenment,
and litigation to resist, wherever and whenever
such may occur. It is registered with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Corperate Affairs Commission.
Ash Montana Deck
ASUU to hold emergency meeting tomorrow over suspension of strike
ABUJA-THE striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will convene emergency National Executive Council, NEC meeting on Thursday, to review recent developments, especially the positive response from the federal government to its demands.
Preparatory to the meeting expected to take place at its headquarters in Abuja,the union has directed its zonal branches to collate the views of members through vote during the meetings expected to hold tomorrow in its various zones across the country.
The outcome of the meeting would result in suspension of the strike on late Thursday or Friday morning.
This came as report had emerge in the social media space earlier on Tuesday, claiming that the union had called off the almost 8-month old strike and subsequently directed members to resume academic activities on October 17.
ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, while responding to enquiry to that effect, dismissed the report, saying the strike was yet to be suspended.
He, however,said the union was working towards the suspension of the action, saying the action would be dependent on the views of members from the zonal meetings.
The latest action of the lecturers’union came following the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Speaker had on Monday,after a meeting with ASUU president and other members,assured that the strike would be suspended very soon, saying his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the union’s action was fruitful.
Earlier,human rights lawyer and counsel to ASUU,Femi Falana,SAN, had also said the union would soon call off its nearly eight-month old strike.
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