By Comrade Alfred Jimoh, National Vice President, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities(SSANU)Western zone
Sometimes when I try to have a sober reflection on the Nigerian situation, I am tempted to say that, there is no hope for this country because of the level of insincerity, falsehood and selfishness prevalent in our society.
But because I believe that, there is a God in heaven who rules in the affairs of men, I manage to keep hope alive.
Almost everybody is blinded to the truth, justice, equity and fair play, by their unquenchable spirit of parochialism, self aggrandisement and inordinate ambitions.
It does not matter whether you are educated or illiterate, religious leader or infidel, academic or non academic.
In fact, it appeared as if the more educated or academic you are, the more you are bitten by these cancer of evils in the society.
It is usually a case of”…So long as I and mine are ok, I don’t care what befalls others”.
This is aptly captured in the Yoruba parlance which says “Bamubamu ni mo yo, emi o mo boya ebi npa enikan” -selfishness!
Such is the case of our friend from the Dept of Sociology, University of Ibadan, who put up a brilliant piece in his article in the Punch newspaper, in the defense of his Union ASUU.
I was tempted to clap for him as I know many ASUU members and the less informed on the subject matter in the society must have been doing.
However, as an informed player in the matter in dispute, I could see through the veil of Tade and ASUU to know that, the driving force of this fellow and indeed majority of the new generation of ASUU members, is nothing but greed, selfishness, and over bloated ego.
His submission though brilliant, is full of half truth and in some case outright falsehood, but which we shall make subject of another day due to time and space here.
Tade, apparently is a floor member of ASUU who must have been induced by ASUU officers as well as the anxiety to lay his hands on the “filthy lucre” called Earned Academic Allowance”.
To him, it does not matter if nothing is allocated to the non teaching staff, after all they are “inferior beings mere supporting staff”. They cannot Earn it because it is “Earned”. What a pity?
As long as his Millions are paid into his account in this festive period. He is ok.
He never told the reading public the fact that, ASUU fraudulently and selfishly got the allocation being brandished about through the back door.
Maybe he didn’t know or he knows and pretend not to know.
He never told the public that, there was an allocation table addressed to the same Accountant General of the Federation on the same allocation titled “FORWARDING OF VERIFIED SUBMISSION FROM UNIVERSITIES ON EARNED ALLOWANCE, with Ref. No: ME/PSE/HE/1041B/C.1/Vol.1/11, dated 24th October, 2017 and signed by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny S.T Echono, fnia, in which ASUU UI was not allocated a dime and the non teaching staff of UI were allocated #814,069,220.82.
He also did not tell the public that, when that allocation came to UI, the non teaching staff (the so-called supporting staff) were circumspect to wait and seek clarification as to why their teaching colleagues were not allocated anything.
They didn’t push for the sharing of the money, sensing that something was not right, they exercised patience.
Even though the Bursar is a non teaching staff (though he is a Chattered Accountant) he did not urge or hurry the Vice Chancellor for the payment of the abnormal allocation. He was not blinded by greed and the knowledge of his own share of the allocation…
However, no sooner than ASUU, apparently though their agents in govt were able to get another allocation paper which obviously was hurriedly put on some obviously scanned or fraudulently procured letter headed paper, whose Coat of Arm is without the white horses, and the Reference number was wrongly quoted as 2016, (FD/OAGF/ADC/2016/220/1E/ /DF), which now allocated a whopping #1,626,117,386.20 to ASUU UI and a meagre #105,709,758.33 to the non teaching staff in UI, they started clamouring that, since the allocation came from Abuja, it must be paid immediately…
He did not also tell the public that, the report of the Committee set up by the FME to review claims on EA as submitted by the universities with the templates of the Unions was jettisoned due to ASUU pressure and claim that the 23b was its own “spoil of war” and should not be shared with any other group in the system.
Tade could not know, but I do know that, when ASUU took that position at its own conciliatory meeting, they were told that 23b for EA (whether EA or EAA) was what govt could afford as at then, in view of the health and situation of the Nigerian economy.
Except if what the Minister of Labour and Employment (Dr Chris Ngige) told us at the conciliatory meeting of the non teaching staff unions was not right.
Well, all said and done, it would be good to let the public know that the Non teaching staff of Nigerian Universities are not asking to be paid EAA, neither are we asking to be paid the salary of a Professor or Allowance of a Reader.
what we are simply saying is…we have submitted our claims, which govt told us would be used to determined our fair share of the released 23b.
Dr Ngige did not and cannot tell us that he was going to negotiate 11% of the 23b for us with ASUU as Tade is trying to make Nigerians believe.
What we are saying is that, we are smelling “rotten rat” in this so-called distribution.
We challenge the ES NUC, PS FME, Minister of Education, Minister of L&E and the AGoF to publish the true submission of claims of the teaching and non teaching staff as well as the true report of the Committee put in place to review the submissions.
Conclusively, let me observe that, Nigerians are very worried that, the Nigerian education and health sectors are witnessing incessant strike action.
I make bold to say that, for as long as insincerity on the part of govt, continues, for as long as the govt continue to give undue advantage to the Medical Doctors and Teachers in these two sectors, even the often canvassed “No work no pay policy in our labour law will not stop the issue of strike in these two very important sectors of our economy.
Because govt can not violate Agreement it freely signed and still turn around to apply ” No Work no Pay when workers go on strike for such violation of Agreement.
The govt would have no moral right to do that, as it would be against the principle of collective bargaining.
WAY FORWARD: It is not the rationalization of falsehood and threats currently going trending in ASUU and govt circle, but the application of Justice, equity and fair play.
Give us our fair share in this 23b, or release our own 30b….chikena! No Turenchi.