The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has described as mere “cosmetics” the change mantra of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) , just as it charged Nigerians to be ready for what it called a real revolutionary 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.
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. 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 in 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 repeat, 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.”