By Bola Bolawole
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The Academic Staff Union of Universities has made good its threat to rollover its strike if, after the 30-day warning strike, no good news came from the Federal Government. As predicted by this writer, no good news came from the Federal Government. As we also predicted, an ASUU bereft of ideas has no other idea than its hackneyed strike ad nauseam and ad infinitum. Both the FG and ASUU are assholes!
The Government has no stake in our schools because the children of rich and powerful Nigerians school abroad. The few of their children that attend school here are in private universities whose fees are exorbitant. The Muhammadu Buhari administration apparently subscribes to the Boko Haram ideology of Western education as ”haram” – that is, poison. ASUU – and parents – must devise a means other than strike action to force the hands of the government. It is like someone sent Buhari to ruin Nigeria! It is like Buhari has a score to settle. The way he is ruining everything in sight, it is like he has a mission of vengeful hatred that he must execute without looking back.
A spike against education is primarily a spike against the South; which is the bastion of education in the country. The South suffers the most from the deliberate suffocation of the public school system. But while the leaders of the North have failed to understand that the preponderance of private universities in the Southern region will help it cushion the adverse effects of the de-marketing of the public school system baffles me. The North can only sink deeper into the miry clay of educational disadvantage. But do their leaders care? They do not need quality education to wangle their way to the top and then lord it over their betters from the South. If they do care, this is the time to speak up!
The poor are being pushed to the wall on all fronts. Are you aware that the Seme border remains closed, with dire economic consequences for the economy of southern Nigeria in general and the South-West in particular? The closure violates the ECOWAS Protocol on the free movement of goods and persons, to which Nigeria is signatory. It also creates bad blood between Nigeria and its West African neighbours. Nigerian leaders will be well advised to learn from what is happening in Ukraine: when a government deliberately declares war on a section or sections of its country, it courts trouble! The continued closure of the Seme border is open declaration of war on the South of Nigeria, especially the Southwest – and it will have serious consequences in the fullness of time!
Sunday Igboho: Not yet ‘uhuru’
Yoruba self-determination activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, was released from detention in the Republic of Benin on March 7, 2022. Igboho was arrested in the neighbouring West African country in July 2021 while reportedly trying to travel to Germany through the Cardinal Bernadin International airport, Cotonou. Obviously, Igboho was on the watch list, unknown to him, most likely on the instigation of the Nigerian government. According to reports, an aircraft was already revving its engine at the airport and Igboho would have been given the Nnamdi Kanu treatment but for watchful and alert Yoruba elements at the airport that frustrated the effort. Abducted from Kenya and whisked to Nigeria, Kanu, the IPOB leader, is currently in DSS detention in Abuja, undergoing the charade of a court trial. But tell Igboho it is not yet “uhuru”. And tell the Yoruba self-determination groups already grinning from ear-to-ear and congratulating one another to not to celebrate too early. For as long as the Buhari people have not sheathed their sword, Igboho and the self-determination groups must sleep with only one eye closed. They must behave like the proverbial “aparo” (sparrow) that sees not just with its two eyes but also with its feathers. As they say, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance!
Bolawole is a respected columnist and former deputy editor in chief of The Punch