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ASUU Strike By Professor Rabi’u Nasiru

Professor Rabiu Nasiru is ASUU Chairman, Ahmadu Bello University chapter.

There is a picture from World War II of a soldier carrying a donkey. I am sure many of us must have seen and read that recently, because it is viral, posted across many social media. The story shows that the soldier was not carrying the donkey because he loved it.

The reason was that the field they were crossing was filled with mines and the donkey, if left on its own, was free to wander as it pleased. If so, it would likely detonate the mines and kill every soldier in the company. The moral of the story is that during struggles, difficult times and trials the first ones you have to keep under control are the morons who don’t understand the danger and do as they please.

The picture and its story really remind one of the very few ASUU members across the branches who defied the collective resolve of the Union and went ahead the ‘mined field’ to register with IPPIS. Certainly all of them stepped on the mines, but fortunately it detonated with only them. Some broke their hands (did not get the new minimum wage), some broke their hands and legs (no minimum wage and no certain allowances), some broke hands, legs and torsos (no minimum wage, no certain allowances and in addition, were meted with draconian tax regime), and the worst was those who broke their hands, legs, torsos, had their brain damaged and their bellies busted (no salary at all).

Among the last category is a member of ABU branch who is fond of addressing himself as associate professor whenever he writes. Well, that is not an issue for now. This associate professor, having found  himself in the aftermath of the detonations from the minefield, he went viral pleading to the IPPIS office, the Office of the Accountant General, the minister for finance and even the Presidency through their Twitter handle to have ‘his salary’ paid. The plea has clearly projected him as a grossly selfish person because he was not the only person affected but he was begging for only himself.

Wandering as he pleased, like ‘that donkey’ in the World War II, the associate professor published an article on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram telling his listeners that the current ASUU strike is unjustifiable.  He made some incoherent analysis laden with very bad and poor presentations about the FGN’s proposals to the Union. His jargons exposed his ignorance about the bone of contention between the Union and FGN. It shows that he did not peruse nor comprehend the documents duly issued to members by the NEC.

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It is very clear to every serious member of the Union that IPPIS is a diversion from the actual demand of the Union, i.e. re-negotiation, fulfilling the MoU and the MoA. But let’s assume that the IPPIS is an issue, since the FGN has made it one, now. The associate professor concluded that “I urge our congress to get registered with the IPPIS while the sequential migration to the UTAS from the IPPIS should be judiciously pursued.” Has he not read Elder Jibo’s warning notes in the Daily Trust on October 13, 2013 published again on 12th April 2020 because of its relevance to the current ASUU strike? Jibo, using his 40 years’ experience, clearly mentioned that “The fact of the matter is that the Nigerian government is irresponsible and never fully implements deals it signs.” A word is enough for the wise. For him and his cohorts who registered with IPPIS, let them remain there as we “judiciously pursue” the “sequential migration to UTAS”, to use his words. By the way, how could our associate professor compare IPPIS with PENCOM? Were Nigerians not told that IPPIS was meant to fight corruption? But several corrupt practices, perpetrated by its programmers and managers have been discovered. Were we also not told, since 2014, that IPPIS will be adjusted to accommodate the peculiarities of the university system? But when the associate professor defied ASUU’s decision and registered in December, 2019 and when payment started with 2020 February salary, what did we see, and what is the experience of our associate professor? For February salary, he told the world that he was omitted, therefore not paid. And I wonder if he was paid his March salary. Obviously, his article was meant to win cheap popularity and probably draw sympathy from the IPPIS.

He thinks by abusing his Union he will be promptly paid his mutilated salaries. Anyway, just as the soldier had to carry his donkey across the minefield during the World War II, we shall also venture to carry him and his likes on our back as we cross this minefield. Because I heard our respected comrade of a president saying that those members who registered with IPPIS in spite of the Union’s position are still our members.

We know what to do with them at the right time. Aluta Continua! Victoria Acerta!!Long Live ASUU!!!   Professor Rabi’u Nasiru is ASUU Chairman, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Chapter.

Source: Daily Trust

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