The Zone D (South West) wing of the National Association of Nigerian Students (Zone D) has asked its national president, Sunday Asefon to stop attacking the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Asefon had in a statement during the week alleged that ASUU was only using ‘Revitilisation Fund’ to deceive Nigerian students.
“We are appalled by the continued insincerity on the part of the leadership of ASUU in meeting our national leadership to hear directly from them as our fathers on the real area of contention.
“We have met with Federal Government representatives and have heard directly from them, but all efforts to meet ASUU leadership is being consciously frustrated by ASUU leadership,” Asefon had said in the statement.
“We are also aware that revitalization of our universities is not the main issue of contention between ASUU and Federal Government but issue concerning payment platform and renegotiation of the 2009 agreement. We have tried our possible best not to direct our rage towards ASUU but Federal Government.
“However, ASUU is leaving us with no option but to enlist them on the list of our enemies, and we will serve ASUU on the same plate with Federal Government. Since they won’t talk to us as their closest children in this struggle, we will assume they don’t have our interest at heart and we will treat them as our enemy as well.
“If we are part of the beneficiary of your fight, you will not have a problem explaining to us why our gain will be bigger than our loss if the fight continues.”
Reacting, Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji, Coordinator of NANS (Zone D), lambasted Asefon over the attack on the lecturers’ association and distances the zone from the ‘“unpopular stance”.
He accused the NANS President of collecting an ‘envelope’ from Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to attack ASUU.
Olatunji said, “And once again, we cannot but express our disagreement with the embarrassment which NANS President calls ‘revolutionary intervention’. We are by now more convinced that Sunday Asefon does not understand the basic meaning of the ‘Revolutionary President’ which he sadly calls himself.
“The statement read that his National Leadership is declaring an ultimatum for a battle against ASUU because ASUU’s NEC has refused to meet with him. Without sounding like the spokespersons of ASUU but as a conscious group of students who have closely monitored the steps of Asefon since this ASUU struggle began, we can say that the ASUU NEC is justified for not meeting with him.
“Asefon has presented himself as a betrayer of the people’s struggle to deserve the trust of ASUU.
“Shall we mention his inglorious stance against the June 12 democracy day protest? Or his recent visit to the house of the Minister of Education on the night of the day the irresponsible Minister walked out on him following a protest facade!
“Asefon was clearly smiling to the camera in the viral pictures from the night’s meeting which obviously means that an envelope of money has been received as usual by him during any of his caricature interventions in the time past. ASUU zonal leadership has met with us after seeing our true progressive stance.
“Coincidentally, ASUU National President and some ASUU leaders were meeting with NAUS President on the same day Asefon was holding his retrogressive expanded NEC meeting in Abuja. The question the public should ask Asefon is why would ASUU be ready to meet with other students structures but Asefon-led national leadership? Clearly a question of integrity.
“In the same statement, it was stated that ASUU is only using ‘Revitilisation Fund’ to deceive Nigerian students. Let us firstly inform the public that we are conscious of the demands of ASUU and we will not join anybody to ridicule any pro-people struggle of ASUU.
“And no deliberate blackmail to play on the emotions of Nigerian students would work as it is evident that Asefon has placed himself to be a tool of propaganda in the hands of the Federal Government.
“Even if none of ASUU’s demands would benefit the students directly, is the Union not right to fight for the good welfare and working condition of her members? It would be difficult for Asefon and his cronies to understand the concept of Labour, Labour Value and Workers’ Rights because Asefon was never a serious student in school. As a perpetual student with no valid student identity and no certificate more than secondary school’s, we could not have expected much from him. And we understand that he needs to defend the politicians in government who helped him clinch the position of NANS President even though he is not a student and was never a graduate of any tertiary institution in Nigeria.
“Emphatically, we are demanding that the government should yield to the demands of ASUU and bring an end to the strike action. The government should stop shaming itself through the failure to honour the gentlemen agreement it had with ASUU in the past. Should the government fail to do the needful, we shall not hesitate to once again shut down all economic viable highways in the South West zone just as we have displayed a few of our plans on the Lagos-Ibadan highway some days ago.
“The South-West zone as the most ideological zone of NANS under our leadership reaffirm our commitment and solidarity with ASUU and all Workers’ Union in the developmental interests of the Nigerian state. Our education sector should be given a priority and be well funded to give qualitative, affordable as well as accessible education to all willing Nigerians.”
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