Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, has described the change that the All Progressives Congress promised Nigerians as cosmetic.
Ogunyemi spoke as the guest of honour at a public lecture and distinguished service award organised by the University of Ibadan chapter of the union on Wednesday.
The ASUU boss said the union was ready to educate Nigerians on what a true change should be.
The ASUU boss expressed the concern about Nigeria’s present situation, while lamenting that the present leaders lacked the quality needed to move the nation forward.
He said, “ASUU is not pleased with what is happening today for at least three reasons. In the first place, as a union of intellectuals, we cannot stay aloof, we cannot watch helplessly while the ruling class continues in its act of displacement of the country.
“What has happened in this country in the last 10 years or so should be enough to transform this country if not to another Japan, but at least maybe to another Malaysia or Singapore. What we are having now is the Structural Adjustment Programme in another form.
“We must sow the seed of that change; the correct change. The change they are talking about is cosmetic. We are talking about revolutionary change. Are we prepared for that? We need to gird our loins. ASUU as a union is committed to doing that. It’s like the Nigerian ruling class does not have a template for governance or development. As long as that continues, we’ll be regressing and not progressing.”
Ogunyemi was of the opinion that the progressive class of politicians had failed the nation because they had not delivered on their promises to the nation.
He added, “Somebody came up and said I will not devalue the naira, what is happening to the naira today? Free fall! Somebody said I will reduce the price of petroleum, what is happening now? The price is almost doubled. And it is not impossible that in another few months, we will just wake up and see that the pump price of petroleum will be swayed.
“Is this the kind of change you asked for? A change without transformation, is this the change you asked for? Nigerians asked for change, Nigerians did not ask for enslavement. That is why we must be interested in what is happening in Nigeria. For those that are calling themselves progressives, we are yet to see the progress the progressives are building.”
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