“….. He who would be a leader must pay the
price in self-discipline and moral restraint. This
entails the correction and improvement of personal
character, the checking of passions and desires,
and an exemplary control of one’s bodily needs
and drives …..” His Royal Highness, Emperor Haile Selassie
For those who may wish to know what is ASUU, it referred to Academic Staff Union of University. This is an association comprising of academic university staffs otherwise referred to as University lecturers. As in all formations, there are different categories and levels starting from Graduate assistant to Professor, the ultimate.
In many universities across the world, the least of the ranks with only one degree are usually the sorted, high performer and excellent students that are given this appointment otherwise, many would-be lecturers are expected to have two to three degrees before being appoint able.
Then the crux, the pinnacle or the zenith otherwise called the Professors. These are individuals who have gone through the rigors of academic performance and achieve intellectual sagacity in their chosen fields that frequently, they are referred to as authority in their respective fields. To achieve this goal, such persons must have dedicated minimum of 25 years of their life in learning, reading, researching, publishing, and attending conferences.
Woe betide you if you are a Nigerian Professor where you have to spend the last 25 years using your personal fund (out of pocket) to get the 3 degrees, conduct researches, travel for conferences, and publish your research work in ‘sound’ or ‘credible’ journal (journals that must be listed in Pubmed, an American organization).
The sum of this is that ASUU is a conglomerate of highly intellectuals who are like good cements, good bricks and good equipment in the construction of a building.
However, where the architect is a rookie, attracted to construction by the glamor of the ego associated with being an architect, even in the presence of these best materials, the outcome of construction is predictably, a disaster.
The good bricks, equipments and cements and other materials are the academics, they are trained to provide solutions to all national and international problems for the benefits of its citizens.
Sad enough, our own architects are rookies, requiring minimum of secondary school certificate to use the highly intellectual personalities in the form of academics to build a strong and viable nations.
These rookies are only attracted by the pecks of offices and never to make lives meaningful for its citizens hence you hear strangely abnormal comments that can only be said by morons, the imbeciles, the drunkards such as “it is our turn”. Like the overfed spoilt brats, collecting humongous money in the name of salaries and allowances, turning the Professors into errand boys (Professors hoping to be appointed as election umpire).
The Americans and their counterpart Europeans have gone to sleep because they have no fear for us. They have lorded democracy on us, every 4 years, hungry citizens go into the scorching sun or falling rain to go and elect another overlords, who will plunder our lands and make us more hungry waiting for another 4 years. You think it’s accidental they never share their technology, science and advancement with us except democracy? They will not. This is not the intention of European observers, that we get it right. Rather, to ensure we always get wrong person to the pinnacle of decision making. Little wonder, the Chatham house discussion from our presidential candidates.
These are politicians, not leaders!
Leaders are hungry, so that the citizens can have enough fill, leaders are awoke, so that citizens can sleep, leaders are stressed, so that the citizens can have stress free lives.
Leaders are like the usual good fathers of the house, concerned about everything except himself, the households, the wife, the children, the immediate family, the extended family, the family in law, the neighbor, the workplace etc. Politicians are like the thieves who is not bothered whether his victims had eaten or not, have clothes or not, or in debt or not. Thieves will rather put his victims in continued debt or penury or even kill him as long as he is filled.
From the day he is elected, he has started planning for reelection. Each biro for a whole class of 60 students he gave, a piece of loaf of bread for a whole community, or pieces of blocks he mounted as foundation of health center for a city that will rarely be built is never because of development of his country or states or communities, but because he wants to create enough wants that he can have something to promise for another 4 years. It is no wonder that the Governor of Borno, Professor Zulum was reported to have said, he is not a politician, corroborated by incoming governor of Anambra, Professor Soludo, who was reported to have said, he is a technocrat, not a Politician. It is therefore not surprising that what I called the miracles of the century, China’s astronomic national development and dominance and wonder city of Dubai are not practicing western democracy.
ASUU must change strategies. Where Professors received and are receiving less than $1000.00 a month, and a secondary school certificate holders (minimum requirement) in the name of politician, received more than $50,000.00 a month, they can never understand why lecturers should go on strike. After all, their children don’t need Nigerian university education, most are abroad, which was why they have to throw the bill seeking constitution amendments banning children of public officers from receiving education abroad. Strike has no meaning to them.
What ASUU has to do? – change strategy
Instead of waiting for one buffoon, to tell them, they should thank God that they are receiving their salary regularly, they should be involved in who govern us. We don’t need politicians again, what we need are leaders. Attack is the best form of defense they say, and this should be our change of strategy. While we continue with the strike, we should identify using strategic key idenfiers in person from wherever on the planet (qualified Nigerians of course), promote and project him or her to Nigerians, market him or her and bingo, we win, they lose.
We have the numbers, we have intellects, we have the intellectuals. All it takes is ASUU to close ranks with NLC (and its affiliates), NBA, NMA and get out this buffoonery then, we shall be able to breathe. For now, “I can’t breathe”, ASUU must remove the knee on the neck by changing strategy.
“Religion is personal; the state is for all.” His Royal Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie
Consultant Psychiatrist / Professor Of Psychiatry
Usmanu Danfodiyo University / Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital