Comrade Danjuma Saleh, Bauchi State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has chid Nigerian political class over their habit of sending children abroad to acquire university education while leaving poor Nigerians in decayed public universities ruined by incessant strike actions by ASUU.
The Chairman said the current ASUU strike amount to the dirtiest slap on the face f Nigeria globally, given the quantum of resources the country is blessed with coupled with the public display of wealth by the political class in the country.
Comrade Saleh sad this when he led protesting labour leaders to the Bauchi State Government House, following mobilisation by the national body of the union for a nationwide protest in solidarity with the continued closure of Nigerian universities for six months by ASUU.
“This solidarity protest is to draw the attention of political authorities to the current deplorable state of affairs in the Education sector and especially tertiary education in our country. The laws of the land have guaranteed us the right to undertake a peaceful protest to show to the world and to whoever is concerned our legitimate demands and to drive home our points for further action by the authorities.
“As we are all aware, today unions in the tertiary institutions and particularly Universities have downed tools for over six (6) months now as a result of industrial action which could have been resolved since if there was political will from the Federal Government. This action portends great danger for the future of our country.
“We want the world to know that it is only in Nigeria that the political class who came to power and prominence through the votes of the masses that takes advantage at the detriment of the people who elected them. They send their children abroad for quality education and neglect the children of the masses in the public universities in Nigeria. Without any fear of contradiction, 99% of children in our Universities today are children of the masses who could not afford the cost of private institutions in Nigeria and elsewhere.”
Saleh also urged the federal government to increase budgetary allocation to the education sector to be in line with global standards which recommend at least 26% of the total budget of the nation, saying it is by providing quality and sustainable education that a nation is assured of scientific and technological development, good leadership and qualitative life for its citizens.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all major Unions in Tertiary Institutions are affiliates of NLC and anything that borders on their condition of service, working environment and welfare is our concern, we cannot continue to fold our arms while our members are being neglected and humiliated on some simple demands that are within the reach of their employer. Those saying that NLC should not take sides should understand that we cannot abandon our members at the detriment of their legitimate demands no matter the odds. It is in our slogan that an injury to one is an injury to all.”
The Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Ibrahim Kashim applauded NLC in the state for the peaceful conduct of the solidarity protest, describing dialogue as the best way of resolving issues of general interest.