The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday took a swipe at former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, for accusing striking lecturers of producing ‘vagabonds and unemployable graduates’.
Reacting to a statement credited to the politician on the ongoing strike by the university lecturers, the chairman, ASUU, University of Ibadan, Dr. Deji Omole, described APC as party of vagabonds and Akande as grandfather of half-baked leaders in government.
ASUU said that it was unfortunate that a supposed leader of Akande’s status could make a statement with warped logic.
Akande, had condemned the strike embarked upon by ASUU in Oke Ila Orangun, Osun State, where he went to commission one storey – Abolarin college.
He was reported to have accused the union of destroying the country with demands that were not genuine.
But ASUU in a swift reaction said it was shameful that Akande by age and previous offices held in the country before now is qualified to be called an elder statesman.
Omole stated that Akande’s recent outburst against the ongoing patriotic struggle by ASUU to save public university education in Nigeria clearly exposed him that, “he is just an elder only by age but not a statesman”.
“The same Bisi Akande who himself was a teacher during the free education programme of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, sacked hundreds of teachers and left Osun State education in tatters now claims to value quality graduates while shying away from adequate investment in education.
“It is on record that during Akande’s time as governor, all the higher institutions in Osun State were closed down due to the anti masses policy of his administration on education.
“It is even self indicting for the leader of a ruling party who is destroying public education with chronic underfunding of the existing institution but busy itself to mushrooming of new Universities without any funding plan to still be talking in public.
“The budget for education in the current year was wickedly cut down to seven per cent to demonstrate their hatred for public funded education,” ASUU said.
According to him, ASUU is not government that promised Nigerian youths gainful employment like the ruling party did and so could not be blamed for the failure of the clueless government to establish industries.
ASUU said it was because of the likes of Akande who were interested in killing public education to allow for their children and grandchildren to dominate and oppress the children of the masses that they go on strike.
“It is only in Nigeria that those who should not open their mouth to talk speak. But as the Yoruba proverb says, ‘a compromised mind cannot speak the truth’. Akande should tell the country how many of his grandchildren attend public primary, secondary and university?
“He should tell Nigeria how much Ghana is voting for education and how much his party is putting into education?
“You cannot build something on nothing. If Akande wants full baked graduates, he should tell his party and President Buhari to implement agreements government reached with the union and see if there will not be change. He should pay lecturers what they pay lecturers in South Africa,” it added.