On Tuesday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) responded to President Muhammadu Buhari’s remarks about the union’s ongoing strike action.
According to reports, Buhari had on Monday advised the professors on strike to think about the next generation and return to work in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
“We hope that ASUU will sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike. Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake,” Buhari reportedly said.
However, by including the next generation in his remarks, the president was allegedly engaging in psychological games, according to Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, the ASUU head at the Federal University of Minna.
According to the ASUU chairperson in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja, he noted that the president who had been vocal about the struggles of ASUU before he became president, failed to put his knowledge of the struggles of the university lecturers into use.
“The media space was inundated with a statement credited to President Buhari regarding ASUU’s struggle yesternight, and with spill over till this morning. Hence, the need to give this brief response so that Nigerians would know if ‘Enough is actually enough’.
“Firstly, Mr President was very vocal about the ASUU struggle some years back before becoming the President and one would have expected him to know about the struggle more than some people but unfortunately, his statement yesterday suggested otherwise. I won’t blame the president that much, I can only say that his handlers are his enemies because if the president was properly briefed about the matter, he wouldn’t have made that statement.
“Again, the president said enough is enough, what is actually enough? Was he talking about the attitude of his appointees to direct order, as evident in the directive he gave on February 1, 2022, and was not executed for over two months? Was he tired of going through reports on assignments given to different agencies? These are more of his faults and not that of the Union.
“The president was trying so hard to play a psychological game by bringing students (next generation) into the statement forgetting that the lecturers like any other common Nigerian have their kids and wards in public universities but his kids are/were not/never in public universities.
“Unfortunately, the government after six months of keeping the students at home due to its poor handling of the strike issues is just realising that they are parents when their children do not even know what the gates of public universities in the country look like. There is no need to paint ASUU’s struggle in such coloration because we all know that the political class hardly cares about the rest of us because they only believe the students are good for political thuggery.
“I was so happy when the president mentioned that, we should be inclined toward technology, the question again that we need to ask is this; do we have the facilities to make us an innovative nation through our universities? Is the upgrade of facilities in our universities to make us competitive not part of ASUU’s demands? Then, I think enough is enough of daydreaming.”