JAF Intensifies Mobilisation
1. The Joint Action Front (JAF) held an Expanded General Meeting on Sunday, July 21, with stakeholders in the education sector, comprising students, civil society groups, zonal and state branches’ representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), and College of Education Staff Union (COESU).
2. The meeting was in furtherance of the resolution by a previous meeting of JAF (held July 14th) for a nationwide mobilization for NATIONAL PROTEST to save PUBLIC EDUCATION and to rally Nigerians to join forces with ASUU and other unions in the academic sector from primary to tertiary levels to compel the Federal and State Governments to implement Collect Agreements on: Adequate Funding of Education, Academic Freedom, and Autonomy in the administration and running of the tertiary institutions in line with the demands of the stakeholders in the sector.
3. The meeting agreed on a TEMPLATE for National Mobilisation and urged all stakeholders in the Education Sector – parents, students, ASUU, ASUP, SSANIP, COESU, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), professionals and workers unions (in the NLC and TUC) and the oppressed masses of Nigeria to hold consultative and mobilization meetings and rallies, in view of the PROGRAMME OF ACTIONS to be made public in the next one week.
4. The meeting resolved that a NATIONAL PROTEST to save PUBLIC EDUCATION has become inevitable. Thus JAF appeals to Nigerians to see the current struggle by ASUU and the inconclusive struggles of other unions in the Education Sector as the struggle of the Nigerian oppressed masses, whose millions of children would be denied education and a future, should the current trend of poor funding and neglect for Public Education by Government at all levels, be allowed to continue.
5. JAF wishes to remind Nigerians of the demands by the academic unions:
For ASUU, they are:
· “Failures by Government (Federal and State) to fund facilities and infrastructure in the universities, for the revitalization of the facilities and academic programmes;
·Failure to IMPELEMENT the NEEDS Assessment Report as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding, January 24th 2012 between the Federal government and ASUU on the standardization and effective running of the universities; and
·Failure to pay legitimately earned allowances of the academic staffs”.
As for ASUP and SSANIP, their basic demands are:
· “The continuing derogatory recognition of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) as the regulatory body of Polytechnic education as against the agreed creation of a National Polytechnic Commission,
· Non-Commencement of the renegotiation of the FGN/ASUP Agreements as contained in the signed Agreement,
·Non-Reconstitution of the Governing Councils of the Federal Polytechnics,
·Failure by the Federal Government to release the White Paper on the Visitations to the Polytechnics, and
·Non-IMPLEMENTATION of the Agreement on migration of Polytechnic Staffs at lower grades on CONTISS 15 Salary scale, and Failure by most State Governments to IMPLEMENT the approved Salary package (CONPCASS).
6. The meeting appreciated the position of JAF that its intervention in the crises in the education sector is part of its consistent campaign for SYSTEM CHANGE and called on Nigerians home and abroad to DARE TO STRUGGLE in order to DARE TO WIN.
FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER
DR. DIPO FASHINA COMRADE ABIODUN AREMU
JAF Chairperson JAF Secretary
This is what we meant by SYSTEM CHANGE:
“Nigeria is rich. The wealth belongs to the people. Most Nigerians are hungry, have no jobs, no education, no healthcare, no potable water, no electricity supply and no affordable transportation. Most cannot feed their families or educate their children. Those who are lucky to have jobs are not much different. They also cannot afford a decent living for their families. On the other hand, there is a very tiny group of Nigerians who have cornered the wealth that belong to the working people and the poor, who are in the majority. They loot the treasury and use their stolen wealth to sustain themselves in power through their political parties. They use their power to get richer and richer when the poor get poorer and poorer. This is the system of exploitation and oppression. It is the system that brings out the army and the police to kill poor people when they protest against oppression and exploitation. We want to change that system and replace it with a system where the working people and the millions of people who are sufferings under the system of exploitation will win power and ensure that the wealth of Nigeria is used to ensure a good life for the majority of the people who are now exploited and oppressed. System change is not replacing one exploiter’s government by another exploiter’s government. It is replacing an exploiter’s government by a people’s government to reorganise Nigeria and put an end to exploitation and oppression”.