As Govt-Murdered IYAYI's Burial Commences December 4th!!
ASUU and the struggle to SAVE PUBLIC EDUCATION will OUTLIVE the Jonathan Presidency!!!
1. The Joint Action Front (JAF) deplores the reckless and irresponsible pronouncement made last week by the Supervising Minister for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, ordering university lecturers in the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resume duty by December 4th 2013 or face mass sack.
2. The uncouth statement, which was unnecessary, further exposes the insincerity and hollowness of the Federal Government’s professed commitment to honour Collective Agreements reached with ASUU, and its disregard for adequate funding and democratic running of public education.
3. JAF observes that the declaration of war on ASUU by the FG came in the wake of ASUU’s NEC resolutions and the correspondence by its President – Comrade Nasir Faggae Issa - to the FG to include all the issues that President Goodluck Jonathan agreed with the leadership of ASUU at the meeting held in the Presidential Villa on 4th to 5th November, in the document to be endorsed by the FG and ASUU and witnesses, pursuant to the implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements.
4. Equally JAF notes that the insensitive, lawlessness, power drunken and bully regime of President Jonathan has curiously chosen December 4th 2013 to unleash violence on ASUU and its members across the country.December 4th is the commencement of the burial rites of Comrade Professor Iyayi, who was murdered on November 12th 2013. It is the day set aside to PROTEST the state murder of Comrade Iyayi in Benin, Edo State.
5. JAF is not unaware of the extreme implications of the FG's resort to the use of force as already indicated by the statement credited to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to deploy armed police to the campuses, possibly to effect a proscription of ASUU and vandalise its offices and properties, arrest and brutalise its members, forceful ejection from the campuses, etc.
6. The FG should be reminded that universities and other public education institutions are not police or army barracks to be run by bullying public officers. Nigerians must be informed that the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreements include academic freedom and autonomy in the running of the university system in order to avoid such backwardness and lack of intelligent appreciation of modern engineering of society exhibited by Mr. Nyesom Wike.
7. Let the FG and its agents be notified that JAF will join forces with ASUU to RESIST this latest unwarranted declaration of war against ASUU. We want to assure the FG and its agents who prefer to operate as reckless bandits, instead of being responsible public office holders that ASUU and the struggle to SAVE PUBLIC EDUCATION will OUTLIVE the Jonathan presidency and the class of exploiters in Nigeria.
8. Thus, we in JAF urge Nigerians and patriotic groups across the country to rally in support of ASUU in the defence of the rights to public education and its adequate funding by Governments at all levels.
9. The issue in the ASUU strike is clear: the Jonathan presidency should honour the understanding reached with the ASUU leadership at the meeting of November 4th 2013 for the implementation of the subsisting 2009 FGN/ASUU Collective Agreements.
10. We salute ASUU for its consistency and adherence to democratic principles and sound values in the struggle to SAVE PUBLIC EDUCATION in our country, and we in JAF have faith in ASUU’s commitment to get back to work as soon as the FG does what it has agreed to with ASUU in order to ensure the revitalisation of the infrastructure and facilities in the universities, in line with global academic competitiveness.
11. JAF wishes to inform Nigerians that the struggle to redeem our country should be intensified. In JAF, our goal remains SYSTEM CHANGE in order to ensure a polity in which a truly government of the people would respect the consent of the people on our needs and demands.
12. What in JAF 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”.
DARE TO STRUGGLE, DARE TO WIN!
Comrade ABIODUN AREMU