TRUTH BE SAID
Yester-years, precisely, during Olusegun Obansanjo’s 1979 military regime, there was a serious conflict of ideology between the bourgeoising military elite and one pen-soldier ‘Arthur Nwankwor’. This tussle however polarized academicians’ ranks between those who loves their dare lives and never mind worshiping the military cadre for it, and other ‘radicals’ who also never mind loosing theirs in defense of what they believe. This hinted debate lasted and later mid-wifed the book “Before I Die” written by this pen martyr (Arthur Nwankwor) who suspected that the world may never know about the ‘other side’ of OBJ and Nigeria debt to World Bank if he never act fast by penning it down as his life already labeled for destruction by the-power-that-be can come to a mysterious end anytime. The detail of the fight between the duos is another day subject of discussion but one outstanding thing from this power/ideology clash is that majority of Nigeria leaders hate to be told where they have faulted. Thus, they consequently surround themselves with praise-singers; mostly mediocre.
But briefly, the fight is all about Arthur asking why the country should go burrowing from the International Monetary Fund IMF against the wish of entire Nigerian and against the recommendation of the committee setup by the Head of State himself, thus, OBJ felt dared and smirched for a mare Nigerian asking why his Alfa & Omega decision to borrow from IMF should be questioned by anybody. Meanwhile, Arthur argued that if there is even any need to borrow, it will be more rational to collect a little from our foreign reserve since we already have a stable economy and enough surpluses in our foreign reserve. This borrowing form IMF by OBJ Administration later turned to be the genesis of Nigeria currency devaluation and prognosis of our unending economic crisis.
As the ASUU strike surge, our dear President seemed more concerned with habouring praise-singers than tackling issues being criticize headlong. Thus, the falcons and falconers now becomes enemies just as the battle seem to have been shifted from Presidency/FG to National Association of Nigeria Students NANS; turning the battle to be NANS vs ASUU
Few days ago, I was told that the ASUU Chairman of UNILAG Dr. Oghenekaro Ogbinaka had in an interview with a Punch correspondent said the bitter truth about NANS President Comr. Yinka Gbadebo which may be daring. I only gave a divided attention listening ear as I ain’t recently much interested in NANS politicking.
In the said interview, when the Punch correspondent asked Dr. Oghenekaro Ogbinaka “NANS says it is no longer supporting ASUU in the strike. Is this not an indication that the union has lost one of its strong allies in this struggle?” he was quoted to have answered “The tragedy of this nation is that we killed leadership at the students’ level. The government penetrated the students’ body and destroyed it. We are aware that the President of NANS was rusticated about 10 years ago from the Ekiti State University. He appeared at the Obafemi Awolowo University where he got admitted for a diploma programme in Local Government Studies in order to qualify him to seek election as NANS President. Now we have a Diploma Student representing NCE, OND, HND, Bachelors students as their leader. The painful thing is that most students, even at OAU, Ife, do not know the President of NANS. It is doubtful if he has a regular matriculation number, knows his course adviser and fellow students. He runs NANS from the comfort of a hotel in Abuja. Our prayer is that the strike will be over, those parading themselves as NANS leaders will be back to school, and journalists will be able to locate them in their various hostels and classrooms if they are genuine students. We know our students and our students know us. These NANS people may be students but not Nigerian undergraduates”
Days later on, I noticed an unexpected post in Yinka’s Facebook Wall, the post was simple but funny. It reads “My Name: Adeyinka Gbadebo. School: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile/Ife, Osun State. Course: Local Government Studies. Matric Number: DLG/2011/207 and ended with a surprise rhetoric question “What else do you need?”
I tried endlessly to decipher the rationale behind such post until when the debate started heating the social media unendingly. It was then that I perceive that Yinka was responding to UNILAG ASUU Chairman Interview.
As if the there is a sinew sting on Yinka’s psyche, he decided to make an elaborate rejoinder on 17th Oct, 2013 which he captioned “The hypocrisy of ASUU and the dilemma of Dr. Ogbinaka of UNILAG in his inordinate desperacy to circumvent truth and assassinate decorum”.
His statement reads in part “An intellectual vegetable masquerading to be an intellectual heavyweight needs to be informed of where he belongs because one day, he/she might declare himself/herself a hero. Same goes to Dr. Oghenekaro Ogbinaka, Chairman, University of Lagos (UNILAG) branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Last week, Ogbinaka, an intellectually handicapped man from the department of philosophy of the highly respected UNILAG was asked a simple question by a Punch Correspondent, Mr. Charles Abah but he chose to go haywire. He threw decorum into the dustbin. He abandoned the question to attack my personality. The question and the irresponsible response of Ogbinaka is hereby reproduced underneath:
“Compatriots”, he continued, “I consider the statement credited to Dr. Oghenekaro Ogbinaka as reckless and shameless. It is unbecoming of a man claiming to be an intellectual to abandon issues and start attacking personality. And for the sake of the already misinformed general public, I wish to present my own side of the story” Yinka added in his analysis “A man that fails to protect his dignity and integrity in life is as good as dead because he will be rubbished by intellectual Lilliputians and morally bankrupt and insignificant figures like Ogbinaka” Haba!
Yinka equally added “Let me also put it to Ogbinaka and his cohorts that I am not a product of imposition. I bought NANS nomination form, filled and submitted it. I also presented my manifestos before Nigerian Students at Uyo In December 2012. I was thoroughly screened by the electoral committee members before i was allowed to stand for the election. Liars and propagandists like Ogbinaka should bury their in-commonsensical heads in shame! Let the pig-headed Ogbinaka check my academic status out with my institution, OAU via any means, even online through the OAU portal, I remain one of the very best students in my class. Ogbinaka’s ignorance of the academic norms is very appalling. As a bonafide student of OAU, I was duly matriculated, and my Matric number is DLG/2011/207.” Yinka ended his more than 10pages rejoinder with an order “ASUU, go back to the classroom now while negotiation continues. I hereby opine that ASUU should look for other means to fight for her earned and responsibilities allowances” after his personal chronological analysis of what he termed “ASUU selfish fight”
From Yinka’s rejoinder, many points of why he refused to join ASUU in the struggle emerged; Firstly, ASUU not condoling with NANS when she lost her Senate President, secondly, ASUU leadership not consulting NANS leadership before embarking on the strike, thirdly, ASUU President not responding expressly to the letter written by NANS President to his office. Other points are, attending a meeting organized by Gov Suswan to brief NANS leadership (Maybe, brown envelops exchanged hands during the meeting) really shaped his orientation. But is it constitutional in NANS or ASUU constitution to consult NANS before embarking on strike?
Meanwhile, Yinka’s admittance of being rusticated from UNAD for fighting against fee increment is double sided. If not, why is he afraid fighting FG oppression now, or he don’t see any injustice in the FG treatment of ASUU agreement? More so, Can Comr. Yinka who is alleging that ASUU in February 2013 doctored the 2009 agreement and added many other impracticable demands kindly make public the 2009 document as well as the doctored 2013s for the purpose of clarity and justification of his claims?
Many questions are begging for answer hear, apologies if any person feel insulted, isn’t it better to tackle issues instead of person? Was the said Comrade ever rusticated as said by UNAD for really what? Where has morality and respect gone? Is disrespect a part of Westernization? Decorum please! If in reality this said student (Yinka) felt humiliated by Dr. Oghenekaro Ogbinaka’s statement (who I believe is his elder both age-wise and academic-wise), isn’t there some other cultured or diplomatic way this said student should have replied the Doc? But more importantly, what is the interest of NANS President in constantly saying and posting that the agreement sign between FG and ASUU is unrealizable? There is urgent need of youth reorientation!
Back to the issue, FG consciously and personally sign agreement with ASUU, not under compulsion, mind you. After 4yeaars, it is yet to execute what is expected in a year after the agreement was signed. What is the guarantee that if ASUU (as many politicians has been insinuating) goes back to class that the agreement will EVER be executed? Could FG ever be trusted after reneging on its promises severally?
I don’t applaud the ASUU strike as it is to the students’ detriment but sincere Nigerians have lost faith in the FG over the years. Successively, they regenerate and reproduce better renegers and lies that disdainly treat the people’s social contract. I only commend the ASUU strike because children of the proletariat deserve qualitative education just like the children of the bourgeois and the FG as the LEVIATHAN owe them that. Many universities are shadow of itself and really need attention.
Where lies the appetite for study in the University when the enabling environment is neither created nor study equipments provided? It is not a mockery that none of the Nigerian Universities could be found among the best 500 globally? it is a mockery that a Nigerian graduate will have to undertake another pre-course in an European University before being admitted for Master degree, it is a mockery that 90% of Nigeria graduates cannot communicate effectively and accurately in English Language, it is a mockery that Military government in Nigeria make better budget for educational sector than the civilian rule, it is a real mockery that none of Nigeria leaders has recourse to UNESCO 26% total budget allocation to education, it is also very sad that the Ghana Universities has turn into a safe-haven for Nigeria elites children….but worst still, it is a mockery that the government of the day is neither making any effort to salvage this sorry-state of Nigeria Universities nor showing repenting remorse.
Truth be said, NANS has been politicized to the detriment of Nigerian Students and falsehood has continually been peddle by this body because of the interaction of government invisible hands in the association.
We have for long been deceived of being the future leader. Judging by the age of virtually all in leadership now, it is either being future leaders is a fallacious theory, mockery, deceit or the future may never come or has past.
Truth be said, there is serious leadership failure and Goodluck Jonathan Administration is admissibly admitting it through it actions and deed. All we ask is salvage of the educational sector, Mr. President!
By Emeka Emmanue, Unical