Richard Ginika Izuora
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday, October 6, urged the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, to resign and possibly go into farming.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan chapter, Prof Ayo Akinwole, in Ibadan while reacting to the minister’s criticism of the union.
He said the minister’s criticism was a clear indication that he was naïve on education matters.
The Minister was quoted as saying that the striking lecturers should resort to farming, saying they could not dictate to their employers, how they should be paid.
Nwajuiba had said, “Government is actually not holding anyone to ransom. It says ‘this is how I want to pay and it has to be through IPPIS (Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System)’ You can leave the employment.
“You can opt out of it and say ‘I no longer want to teach’. You can find other professions. What we need now are probably more farmers.
“You cannot keep forcing your employer and tell him, ‘I will like you to pay me my money through my pillow. Or, ‘I will like you to pay it through this mailbox’. ASUU has a lot of complaints and dissipation around.”
But Akinyole described Nwajiuba’s statement as a reflection of his shallow understanding of the academic profession; and the low premium the current administration placed on education.
The ASUU official said the minister of state had “displayed his naivety on educational matters.”
He added, “If the Minister of State for Education is interested in farming; he should resign his appointment and stop displaying his cluelessness of the problems in the education sector.
“We are on a just fight to ensure that those in public offices become responsive and responsible to the masses they swore to serve. They must fund public education. We have been on the same salary since 2009. That is no longer sustainable.
“The universities are being run with personal sweat of lecturers; while politicians siphon money for personal aggrandizement. We cannot accept the IPPIS that is against the laws of the land; and which fails to recognise the uniqueness of academic profession and culture.
“We have brought an alternative using our members’ money. People like this minister of state mirror the disdain of ruling class for the workers and people of the country.”
1st News had reported that ASUU commenced an indefinite strike on March 23 to force the Federal Government to implement its agreements with the lecturers and protest against the IPPIS.
The union on Monday said its members would not call off their strike; despite the directive of the Federal Government that all educational institutions should resume.
Hallucinations Off Buhari’s Administration As Osinbajo Beginning To See Poverty In Nigerians
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has set the tone for a better deal for Nigerians after he has lately admitted that the people are really suffering.
Osinbanjo, says it is time for the executive and legislature to focus on what they have been elected or appointed to do which is to improve the welfare of the people.
He made this submission at the closing session of the two-day Joint Executive-Legislature Leadership Retreat on Tuesday, October 6, in Abuja.
According to him, there is no pure practice of the doctrine of separation of powers; hence the need for flexibility.
“The Anglo-American traditions that we hold on to in support of the separation of powers are not pure; so, for example, the U.S. Vice President serves as the president of the Senate and presides over the Senate’s daily proceedings.
“In the absence of the Vice President, the Senate’s president pro tempore, and others designated by him, preside.
“As one of the Senate’s constitutional officers, only the Vice President has the authority to cast a tie-breaking vote.’’
Osinbajo said that in the country that had the most advanced jurisprudence on the separation of powers, they were wise enough to provide for a concrete bridge between the executive and the legislature.
He said that in the UK, the convention was that every Minister must be a member of the House of Commons or the House of Lords and every minister must be a legislator.
“So, if that were to be in Nigeria all the Ministers would be either Senators; or members of the House of Representatives.
“So, these countries we look up to recognise that any strict separation of powers will impede development; impede governance, and short change the people.
“So, my brothers and sisters, it is time to focus on what we have been elected or appointed to do; this is the welfare of our people.
“The law and practice as between parliament and executive is a means to an end not an end to itself; the means must not jeopardise the end.
“Our people just want food on their table; shelter over their heads; clothing on their bodies; healthcare; and education for their children and themselves.’’
According to Osinbajo, the good legislator or good minister is not the one who is waving the law, and procedure, and doctrines but the one who believes in securing the maximum welfare; also freedom; as well as happiness of every citizen.