Open Letter to the ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge by Nkannebe Raymond.

Sir, many greetings to you. It is my estimation that this piece meets you in good health of mind and body.
As I take up my pen to write these letters, it is exactly half past 9pm by my wall clock hanging boldly against the wall at the tail corner of my apartment. All things being equal, I should have been sited on the first desk at the famous Lecture Theatre (6) in the academic area of my ‘school’ studying my books in between moments of chattering with my colleagues and senior colleagues; but since after the sad development of July 2nd, I am left with no option than burying my heads into the sea of Nigeria’s political drama in lieu of academic work.
My names are Nkannebe Raymond. A 400 level student of the “Prestigious” faculty of Law university of Maiduguri, Borno state. I know it is the melting pot of the Islamic insurgents but I am willing to return back to school any moment to continue my studies if the union you superintend, could tender justice with mercy, find reason with this undoubtedly failed government and return back to the classes.
Sir, as I write, Nigerian students are already totally overwhelmed and agitated over what has become an impasse between your union and the Federal government. Never has a year been faster. Only four days ago, the strike action entered its sixtieth day with the year hurrying to embrace the fast approaching yuletide season. Sir, the thought of this strike lasting into October alone, has led me and a great chunk of students out there, wanting to conclude that it will last into the next year but we do not want to wallow in that pool of pessimism and thus have remained optimistic that this standoff will be disentangled in time soon but hardly can that be, unless you and your colleagues are willing to shift grounds and hence the reason why I decided to use this medium to add to the ‘pool’ of letters of almost the same nature that has been corresponded to you in a plea to finding a quick and immediate end to the already frustrating strike.
Sir, at a time when students cannot wait to become graduates and contribute their own quota in building the Nigeria of our dream that has defied the efforts of our cult of ‘gerontocrates’, at a time when schools are gearing up to welcome their new intakes to flag off a new academic session, it is unfortunate that our citadels of learning have remained under lock and key and as a result, forestalling the whole dream. It is indeed a situation sordid enough to draw tears from the tear duct of even a ‘Hercules’ amongst us. As I write, my eyes are soaked up in tears waiting to pay allegiance to Newton’s law of gravity. Here am I hoping that I am able to round up this letter before this sheet is soaked up with this salty liquid begging to drop from my eyes.
I never intended using this medium to further play the blame game which I feel has been played more than enough across the online and print media. On the contrary, I have taken the troubles of this piece to let you understand somewhat further that sustainable progress doesn’t come to any sector in this current atmosphere of strife and rancor. If anything, it makes matters worse and doesn’t portray us in the positive light, outside the shores of this country.
I understand the federal government’s insensitivity to your plight and how much they have dilly-dallied with the concord you claim they ‘freely’ entered with you even though you were not at the helm of affairs then, way back in 2009. From my diminutive knowledge of the Law, it is a trite that: Pacta Sunt Servanda to the effect that agreements are meant to be kept but much to my quagmire, this government has either consciously or unconsciously, sworn to re-write the doctrine. But haven said that, while we chastise the government, I will crave your indulgence a bit by asking you to momentarily put yourselves in their shoes. When this much touted agreement was reached some 3years ago, little did we know that we shall be subsumed in an insecurity situation that will defy every bid at solving. The security situation has continued to eat deep into our pockets and at the same time preventing us from committing our resources to the critical sectors where they are needed most. It is an unfortunate situation which we have collectively been drowned into and together we can only romance with hope to get through it.
Therefore since we all know we are faced with a common problem, our demands it is expected naturally should not in any guise be emotional but must be geared towards the attainment of a peaceful compromise and not taking measures that will end up heating up an already boiling polity.
Sir, it is against this backdrop, that I urge you and your union to sheathe your swords as they have psychologically “killed” too many a Nigerian student by calling a NEC meeting to consider what the government has offered and finding a lasting solution to this strike. If only you can take this uncommon step, history and not hysteria will forever remember you in its good books and not listing your name in the annals of infamy.
130 billion is undoubtedly a fair bargain if truth is anything to go by them. Sir, statements such as: “ ASUU will not call off strike until all her demands are met” which has always come from your office, has an undertone of “greed” when construed at the widest stretch
Nothing has been achieved in an atmosphere where people are not willing to shift grounds. The same act by our second generation of leaders cost this nation 30 months of bloodletting which she still hasn’t gotten over even as I write. If there is any, I am always receptive to learning and will be honored to know, if you ever deem this letter worthy of a rejoinder.
This country belongs to all of us and if we must insist that the problem of every sector must be completely solved, then I am afraid we may down tools and the country will stop working to the detriment of you and I.
Poor as our educational standard might be today, I am not throwing in the towel as to its prospect of springing up tomorrow. That tomorrow, we will get to someday but obviously, not when the drivers of our economy are under lock and key. To think so, is to be drowned in illusion and living in a fool’s chalet.
These may be my words, but I am upbeat that I have spoken the heart of the average Nigerian student and too many of them share my sentiment.
Am sorry that this letter has refused to come to a grinding halt. If I continue to write, I may write until the tears start flowing. All that I crave for is that you use your good office to ‘drag’ your colleagues back to the negotiation table and not just that, but going there with a mind frame of bringing an end to this vendetta between your union and the FEDS. Our patient as students has been tried more than enough. How much more psychological trauma must we be made to condone?
Sir, consider the plight of that Nigerian student out there depreciating in his potentials. Consider the feelings of that young chap in the street who had just come out with flying colurs in the just released WASSCE result and bagging hopes to secure admission into the university. How about you consider that young student in Maiduguri who cannot wait to graduate froma town which has become a near deathtrap lest he broker his degree with his life. Consider the plight of our parents who cannot wait to have us back to schools. In fact, the scenarios are just endless.
Colin Powell was right when he said that, “Leadership is all about Solving Problems”. Without any prejudice to him albeit posthumously, I must add that Leaders who create more problems in a bid to solving a particular problem, are not and cannot be factored into the category of leaders in the real sense of the word. Civility has never stopped winning laurels. Need I say that this means will not be justified in the end?

I beseech thee sir!
The writer is a Law student, an academic Freelancer and a public affairs commentator. He is on twitter as @yung_silky
Nkannebe_raymond@yahoo.co.uk

25 COMMENTS

  1. FG nice article bcos we knw it is ur hand work and once again no going back,this is how we can be able to get rid of bad government. For that no Going back and my regards to ASUU president his types we need for this country and that is a good example to LABOUR CONGRESS

  2. If about 460 members of national assembly can embezle #150bn in a year, what can #130bn do for 61 fed Unis in this country, if only digital library built in my amamata engulfed #3bn, then do the maths and tell me what U think this peenut FG brought out can develop in the Unis so as to improve the quality of education in this nation.
    The national assembly members should cut down on their spending by 50% and add it up for ASUU making #205bn and then lets see if ASUU wil not call off the strike.

    • Let that so call law student know what the country of ours is in to. He should change his course to history to help him figure out the politics and problems of the country.

  3. Mr. Law student, your Problem is just to finish the school. Upon all what your lecturers have thought you, you never give thanks to them. All you are after is to call off the strike. in all of your write up you never mention FG on not given them their demands all you are after is to call off the strike. Better get your self together. Don’t be rod.

    • Mr Jebrin,

      I must believe u are not a student neither did u understand the content of that letter. U don’t solve problem by creating more problems in other. Dimension. There are other legal means to implement a reached consensus. Asuu should strike a balance in the in the interest of the Union and the Nigerian Student.

  4. I dnt see this article as FG hand work, as claimed by Dr. Sweet.. As a mater of fact. ASUU are bent on ensuring the collabs of education in Nigeria. Pointing acussing fingers on Govt. And exenorating themselfs.
    U reached an agreement with FG and they dnt honour it, drag them to court and let me continue my studies, which i have paid for.
    Shoud the STUDENT react in anger and fraustration, i gues u know the danger involve..
    Am a 500 level student of AGRIC. ECONS/EXT.-UNICAL with a Research Project @ hand and just 2nd Semester to graduate. Imagine the pathetic situation am facing.
    We the NIGERAN STUDENTs stood with ASUU for agreement they reached in 2009 with FG. So let them show concern to us.. We are not geting younger

    • My dear brethen, its a good idea you propose here but what are their chances of getting a just judgement? Less you forget government appoints judges to court. Have you forgotten in a hurry how the presidential appeal tribunal was disbanded and reconstituted the minute they sensed judgement will be against them. Did you also forget that a cases instituted in court implies that you maintain status quo giving government more reason not to perform their responsiblity knowing fully well there will be delayed judgement. Infact you may pass out of this world and yet there will be no judgement on the case. So lest not be selfish in our attempt to find a solution. Thanks

  5. Is dis con3 a mad con3? I just ask cus I kn wat am seein FG I don’t understand u guys! I Think wat dis con3 nds nw is a system of GLOBAL capitalism! Make dose in power less d ideal of goin to power cut down der home pay! Start dem on 18k seems dey say is gud t pay govt works dat, den shuld lend in agreement to dat, Most of dem don’t hav d head to be der in d first place! run exam 1 by 1 of dem Fuck many off,many of dem hav no business bein In d system, most of dem are fools like dat mad man dat was sayin somtin of marry a 12year old kid, to me he’s. mad fool! we have many bad eggs in FG system dat only tink of dem sef! DIS most stop!s

  6. ASUU leadership is bent on frustrating dis government. It is far from d truth dat dey are fighting for Nigerian students. The same people u say u’r fighting for are crying n begging u to please temper justice with mercy. Many of dis students have lost their lives some are even in prison beside d number traumatised n frustrated, many who have even graduated could not collect their result with dis over 2 months strike, all ASUU could say is dat “even if it takes a year they won’t go back to classroom”. If we are sincere, which administration have going out such money n d budget we have today for education in dis country? Is time to call a spade a spade, ASUU have no good reason not to go back to classroom.

  7. Brotherly, be fair with yourself. You sure know your comment was born out of selfishness. If some people never had to sacrifice you wouldn’t have enjoyed the education you have today. If such a system is under totat decay what will it cost your to sacrifice so that your children wouldn’t go to same decayed institution you went to. A mere annnouncement of money on national daily is different from the actual release. Besides who are they releasing the money to, is it not there proteges? Either you like it or not government will never fund education has is ought to even if all the resoruces of these world where willed to Ngeria. Only these lecturers can hold government to ransome to do so. And if you are duly qualified for a thing should it not be given. The money they are clamouring for are unpaid allowances not gifts. They have worked for it. Have you ever heard politicians being owed unpaid allowances. Please, if you do not understand their reason don’t judge their choice.

    • The union and the government have already make it in life, earning and looting away huge amount of money everyday. Are their children studying in any of the universities? How sure are you that the union children’s (Asuu) are not schooling abroad? They said that even if it’s going to take a year they wont call of the strike, do i need to remind you that each en every day we get older nat younger. While they are their even, without teaching in the classrooms en yet every month they get the sound or beep of a text message in the phones alerting them of their monthly salaries. Our house rents dat we have paid, everyday keeps or reading to expire en each day out parents get older en hoping we’ll finish and help them in the near future. Is it wen they have not strength at all to help us providing all our basic needs that Asuu will call of the strike, the answer is “No”. If our house rents expire will they b d ones that will renew it, d answer is “No”. If it is so, why keep prolonging the strike wen the government is not even tinking about them for the time being with what is happening in PDP.

  8. Great nigerian students, so call ASUU are causing more harm than good, they always emphasise on National Assembly Members, do they know the sacrifices these people made b4 they are there, moreover their been there is not permanent, I lecturers wants to be politicians they should resign and go for politics, moreover these so call ASUU are not fighting for the students but for their selfish interest, if their demands have to do with student am sure they wouldn’t go on strike but this demand is for them. Students don’t let us fool are selves, remember if ASUU have 5 demand and 2 of it is for the benefit of the student and the other 3 is for them, once the 3 that is for them are met they will call off, that is how they use to do and they will be say is in the interest of student. Since I grow to know my self it has been this ASUU strike please let the government put stop to it.

  9. I wonder why ASUU is yet to call-off this strike… Do they think that this strike can change anything?.. And i read about one Kogi state chairman of ASUU talking about Ghana. Is Ghana the same thing as Nigeria, is Ghana as rich as Nigeria? Is the Ghanian Government the same as the Nigerian government. The fact that it worked in Ghana does not mean it would work for Nigeria.. ASUU should just consider the students and call-off this strike because it can’t change anything.. What Nigeria needs is a political revolution. Because The Poor State of our Education is just about 10% of Nigeria’s problems.. . The Revolution Nigeria needs cannot be instigated by this strike.. All Nigeria’s problems evolve around PDP which is the ruling party and until they (PDP) stop ruling us, Nigeria would never progress.. It’s not that i’m supporting any other political party, but so far so good The PDP has done more harm and no good to our nation and if we are to Change Nigeria, then we must first change our Government. ASUU should call-off this strike and just endure until 2015 because as long as the PDP is still ruling, nothing about Nigeria can change.. I mean NOTHING…

  10. It is true that certain people would have to make some sacrifices in order to bring about change that will serve as an engine of growth and national development, but such sacrifices can only be given some ‘credits’ only if their resultant effects are been felt equally by both the activist and passivist participants. On the part of Nigerian students, the present ASUU strike will likely lead to wast of school fees, suspension of academic activities, extension of academic programmes and like. Meanwhile, lecturers’ salaries still counts. If their salaries are to be suspended pending when a concrete resolution would have been made, they would have thought of calling the strike off without any delay. So ASUU, is high time we called a spade a spade and stop ‘playing us’.

  11. I put my blames on jonathan. Trust baba, asuu can neva try such act of selfish interest in his regime. Is asuu or education d only problem dis country has? Why do they think there’s no corruption in dia system? As a matter of fact, it startd from dere. If asuu is nt satisfied wit d monies dey hav bn extorting frm student in d name of handouts (photocopied sheets of text book), den dey can neva b satisfied. Our parents hard earned monie. Hv dey 4gotten abt d sorting monies? Dey no is still waiting 4 dem no mata hw long dey remain on strike. Wat hs d govt done 2 checkmate dia activites in our varsities. My humble sugestion 2 jonathan is dat, if asuu insist on nt going bak 2 wrk after d released of 30b, d asuu chairman n his entourage, all present VC’s of our institutions shld b placed on compulsory retirement. Dere ar many qulified nigerians out dere willing 2 bring d best 2 our edcation. They shld b retired. Let dey come n join politics so dey can effect a change 2 our corrupt govt. Thank u.

  12. Asuu nd FG?..hv said it times witout number dat neva wil FG meet al Asuu’s demand…FG stubborness tied wit Asuu’s greedy motive z on a path in causin pandemonium in dis country…they hv tried d patience of we nigerian student…a reprisal is lurkin…nigeria student hv had enuf,d ‘movie’ nw seems boring…sooner rather than leta,we wil take up drastic action..the type neva witnessed b4,it wud b worser dan d AG nd FED election crisis of 1964/65….it no mere threat cos it a reality dat wil turn into history if d two parties stil continue in ‘hollyhood romance’…this our country,if losin our life z wot z needed to stop corruption then let it b…buh b4 dat happen,many offenderz(bad politician) wil go dwn d path of ghost..

  13. Great nigerian student,i tink we understand d fact dat asuu is fighting for us bt dat doesnt mean they avoid negotiatn. Asuu hav neva tut of d detriment of our stayin at home,dey dnt care abt how d strike will prolong our stay in skul,our hus rent,our parents are nt geting aniway younga,we stay home n bcoms d devil workshop being an idol mind.if asuu cares abtour welfare they shld shift grounds n b ready to bargain cus it obvious dey wont get it by force.i tink d FG shld also consider us an stop dis childish silient dey are kipin asuu.we are disciplined nigerian student ,let dem nt provoke us our sch fee doesnt come frm deir pockets.

  14. Y’llo. B4 i say may say out, the problem of nigeria is lack of good leadership. If you look at the nigeria to day is like a sheep without shepherd. Our leaders they are not ready to improve the level of our education in general.over 2mnth strike with any solution, so that is why always we are goin backwardness at any level of improvement. Thank

  15. The fg should go and borrow and solve the education sector once and for all, they borrow for useless things, they should borrow for education( the most critical sector), we support that

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