Asuu Slams Buhari’s Government, Says It Has Failed Nigerians
SAN FRANCISCO, May 07, (THEWILL) – The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Friday returned a damning verdict on the almost one-year old administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that it has failed Nigerians.
The body of university lecturers, at its 19th National Delegates Conference held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, said Nigerians were yet to experience the much talked-about Change Buhari promised the nation during campaigns for the election that brought him into office.
The ASUU President, Nasir Isa, while addressing the conference, claimed that Buhari was waging a “half-hearted” fight against corruption, and that the poor was getting poorer, while “a tiny club of nouvea riche, treasury looters, phantom contractors, subsidy scammers and rent collectors are flowing in scandalous opulence and manipulating the legal structures of the state to escape.
“One year after, there has been no positive change in the major indices of growth and development, be it poverty reduction, safety and security, disease control or access to basic amenities and public good,” he said at the gathering where the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, was represented by his Special Adviser, A.B. Baffa.
Noting that Nigerians are disillusioned with the present administration because it has no direction in its policies, Isa said: “The disappointment of Nigerians stems from the fact that we have a government whose leadership promised change but which is not practising transformation (deep, fundamental change).
“Democracy in Nigeria is still seen superficially as what leaders do for the people rather than government by the people.”
The ASUU president, whose tenure comes to an end at the two-day conference, accused the federal government of abandoning a socialist welfare state prescribed by the provisions of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution, and embraced unfavourable policies handed down by IMF and World Bank.
“As intellectuals, we know the Nigerian condition is a reflection of the conspiracy between African rulers and agents of Bretton Wood Institutions particularly the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank,” Isa said.
He continued, “The conspiracy was consummated in the 1980s when these institutions for the protection and advancement of capitalism, came up with their 'standard reform package' now known as the 'Washington consensus.'
“This package was designed for the African and other underdeveloped economies in order to perpetuate their enslavement to the capitalist world. Many of us would recall General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida's debate on this 'consensus' in 1985/86.
“Even though the Nigerian people overwhelmingly rejected the IMF/WB loan, the Babangida Government still went ahead to implement the key neoliberal prescriptions of devaluation of the Naira and trade liberalisation.
“President Olusegun Obasanjo and his successors from 1999 have unabashedly intensified the implementation of this package through criminal privatisation and commercialisation of public assets, in faithful surrender to the Washington 'consensus.'
“In all of these, the Nigerian ruling class is unmindful of stiff resistance by the labour movement, civil society groups, the media and other progressive forces in the country. This is much unlike what obtains in other climes such as the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea) who got industrialised without surrendering their economies to the prowling reach of local and foreign marketers of the 'Washington consensus'”.
The union leader stated that ASUU must not relent in working with other progressives to fight for the common good of Nigerians, announcing that ASUU has donated an initial sum of N20m to help ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians displaced from their homes and communities in the North East, due to the insurgency in the region.
Isa explained that the amount was in addition to the N5m earlier donated by the union to the National Hospital, Abuja, for medical assistance to the victims of the Nyanya Motor Park bomb blast.