At this year’s Eid/Sallah celebrations, a delegation of APC Governors paid President Muhammadu Buhari the traditional Sallah visit as part of felicitations. At the occasion, the president took to the podium and charged striking university lecturers to return to the classroom saying “Enough is enough”.
Not only is this statement unfair, insensitive, threatening, non-conciliatory, indelicate, and uncalled for, it raises the disturbing suspicion that the president is clueless or ignorant of the negotiations that have been going on between ASUU and representatives of the federal government. IS this President abreast of developments in his administration?
For what is now the fifth month, Nigerian students have been languishing at home because of the strike which Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions embarked upon to drive home their demands.
Time and again ASUU representatives have sat at the negotiating table with different committees and sub-committees appointed by the federal government. The impression given to the Nigerian public by the Minister of Education and ASUU president is that finally, the negotiations have been concluded, and that the President’s final approval was being awaited.
So, it was quite puzzling when the President made that insensitive, out-of-sync statement knowing full well that ASUU has repeated time and again that it was ready to return to the classroom once the federal government fulfilled its side of the bargain.
Buhari’s utterance therefore begs the question – are these negotiations reported to the president at all or is he being kept in the dark about the situation with ASUU? Something is certainly amiss, thus subscribing to the prevailing narrative that the President is suffering from the debilitating effect of age.
But enough is, indeed, enough. Enough of the incompetence which has characterized the federal government’s approach to the Nigerian education sector. Enough of this administration’s spinelessness and scapegoatism, casting about for whom to blame when the blame lies squarely at its doorstep and fully within its sight. Enough of the poor treatment of our teachers who work endlessly for a pittance in their patriotic attempt to keep a sinking system afloat.
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Enough of the decaying infrastructure and miserable working conditions of our universities. Enough of watching the children of this administration’s elite graduating from universities abroad, smiling happily and confidently into the camera while our own children, the children of the average Nigerian, cry the tears of frustration, a frustration forced upon them by an insensitive and uncaring administration – an administration of which you, Mr. President, are the Head.
Again, enough is enough. Enough of this administration’s attempts to brainwash the public and cast ASUU in bad light. Enough of the dishonourable resort to sophistry and propaganda in this administration’s attempts to dodge the issue. Enough of portraying teachers as selfish and unpatriotic when this administration is the very definition of selfishness. An administration run by incompetent and self-serving goons who are out to make a fast buck off the backs of suffering Nigerians. Enough of the laziness, incompetence and disrespect from your administration, Mr. President. Academics deserve better.
And while we are at it, enough of the endless deaths of innocent Nigerians. Enough of the insecurity that has plunged Nigeria into a terror-filled darkness. Enough of the threats to lives and property forcing Nigerians to sleep with one eye open. Enough of the hunger and poverty killing Nigerians or pushing them to the brink of insanity. But even more, enough of the corruption and stealing by members of your administration who are robbing this country blind, determined to cripple Nigeria and bring it to its knees.
When terrorists break into a prison in the Federal Capital Territory, the seat of government, and carry out their operations for three hours unchecked, then, Mr. President should say “Enough is enough”. When the President’s convoy is attacked in a brazen show of impunity, then, Mr. President, should say “Enough is enough”. When the very people responsible for shaping and grooming the next generation of Nigerians go on strike, when Nigerian children remain at home doing nothing, time and lives wasting away in dejection and despair, then Mr. President should examine his administration, and say “Enough is Enough!”.
President Buhari should charge his officials to do their job and make things right by Nigerian citizens. It is a welcome development that he has ordered the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu to resolve the ASUU strike within two weeks. This order ought to have been given months ago. Mr. President end the strike now by doing the right thing, by ensuring that the Ministers carry out the marching order without equivocation. History will judge the Buhari administration not by his much-vaunted personal integrity, but by his performance – and history never forgets.
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