Awka – The National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Aliyu Wabba has berated the Nigeria Governors’ Forum for their decision, giving a nod to the deregulation of the petrol price.
The deregulation, which the governors okayed at a meeting mid-May, will see pump price of fuel sky-rocket from the current N163 to 380 and N408 per litre.
Wabba, who was speaking at the 21st National Delegates Conference, NDC, of the Academic Staff Union of Universities held at the new ASUU-NAU Secretariat Complex of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State Capital, over the weekend, said the governors’ decision points to the lack of understanding of the numerous sufferings of the Nigerian masses by the nation’s political leaders.
“It is quite unfortunate” he said, “that at a time like this, when the economic situation in Nigeria is biting hard on the citizens, the only thing the governors will think of is to approve the deregulation. The effect of this on the people will be too much. But again, it goes to show the disconnect between the Nigerian politicians and the masses. Had it been that they feel the pulse of the people, the wouldn’t have taken such decision.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “State terrorism and Nigeria’s development,” the Nigerian Labour leader observed that the country has the required deposit of intellectuals to proffer solutions to its socio-economic problems but regretted that the political leaders have been blind to the opportunities before them.
In an address, the outgone ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, berated the Federal Government over its failure to protect the lives and properties of citizenry following wanton destructions by terrorists and herdsmen across the country.
According to the ASUU leader, the Federal Government had failed in its constitutional mandate of protecting the country, and this has resulted in insurgency, terrorism, insecurity of Nigerian state.
He advocated that the Nigerian state consider the redistribution of wealth as a means of addressing the problem of insecurity, deprivation and denial suffered by the teeming Nigeria masses.
“Anyone looking for solutions to the hydra-headed problems of insecurity, insurgency, terrorism, stagflation, and vanishing support for social services only, need to understand the character of the Nigerian state and the aberrant lifestyle of its ruling class. Members of the ruling class often equate themselves with the Nigerian State and this makes them defend their own interests in place of the interests of the people they purport to serve. It is this combination of a greedy, selfish, rent-seeking and unpatriotic elite class and the nature of our postcolonial State that is at the root of our collective insecurity and terrorism. Revelations in the ongoing #EndSARS investigations across the country clearly attest to the fact that the hegemonic class instigates terror against the masses of the people in the name of the Nigerian State. All the security apparatuses of the State are seen by the average Nigeria as instruments of State oppression and terrorism. It could therefore be argued that the counter ideologies of terrorism, banditry, insurgency or militia wearing the garb of religion or ethnicity are in response to perceived injustice, prolonged repression and denial of access to good things of life freely enjoyed by the Nigeria’s hegemonic class,” he said.
In a lead paper presentation, a foremost Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law, Prof. Akin Oyebode, posited that massive investment in the education sector can quell terrorism in Nigeria. Oyebode said terrorism is an ideology evolved by terrorists and sold to their followers but with massive investment in education, the psyche of young people could be reshaped.
Speaking on the theme, Oyebode said: “From terrorism to banditry, to gunmen, insecurity has exposed the underbelly of the country’s security.
“Nigeria today has fallen to insecurity and nowhere is safe in the country. Terrorism is an ideology that is held by terrorists, who in turn pass it to others.
“What we need to do is to educate people who hold this belief to destroy the ideology. We need to invest massively in education to destroy the ideology already held by terrorists. We will continue to demand that the budgetary allocation to education for our country be enhanced. That is how we can fight terrorism”.