Apparently irked by the spate of killings in the country, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) came hard on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying his concept of providing adequate security for Nigerians was deficient in many aspects.
ASUU’s leadership which addressed a press conference on the State of the Nation in Abuja on Wednesday, said the federal government has failed to anticipate, manage and control the crisis rocking herdsmen and farmers in the country.
President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, also faulted the approach of handling the farmers-herders crisis, saying it is skewed to favour the rich but to the detriment of the poor.
“On the issue of herdsmen killing, the Federal Government has failed because the crisis is to benefit the rich, who are the owners of the cows and the huge farm lands. We believe that the chief beneficiaries of the crisis are the rich cattle farmers.
“The victims are the poor peasant farmers and the hired cattle farmers who have been forced by their function of servitude to master employers to kill one another, in the interest of their masters.
“The Federal Government must take responsibility for failure to anticipate, manage and control the crisis. Government’s handling of the issue has fallen far short of protecting certain constitutional provisions on fundamental human right.
“In particular, section 7 (2b) of the Nigerian Constitution states that the sanctity of the human person shall be recognized and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced,” he stated.
Ogunyemi noted that Nigerians should not look up to the various political parties or organisations for their salvation because they are the same ruling class that has failed them over time.
As a way of proffering solutions, ASUU called for the establishment of a true national panel to investigate the crisis.
“For the Federal Government, to clear all doubts and help the country, it should set up a truly national panel made up of citizens of Nigeria who have an impeccable record of defence of Chapter II – Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy – and Chapter V – Fundamental Human Rights provisions of the Constitution (1999, as amended).
“The panel will investigate the crisis referred to as the herdsmen-farmers conflict, present a report to the country, and this will be a basis of addressing the crisis,” he told reporters in Abuja.
He said Nigerians must take their fate into their own hands as Nigeria would not be saved by any coalition of wings of the present ruling class.
ASUU also poked holes on the ruling class or political party formation, saying they have always paid lip service to combating corruption at its root.
The University based union said the only option available to Nigerians in ending corruption was a social and political revolution.
“However efficient the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the ICPC; they cannot solve the issue of corruption in the country because corruption in Nigeria is more serious than any anti-corruption agency
“If the people of Nigeria truly wish and strive to end corruption, there must be a new political, economic and moral culture. This, in turn requires a social and political revolution,” he stated.
Speaking further, he said, “There are large groups of Nigerians who have acquired wealth and power through corruption. They are in all wings of all political parties. These groups, spread in all states and all ethnic groups throughout our country, use the Nigerian state and public property to enrich themselves.
“Since the rulers need and use political power in order to steal and control the resources that belong to the people of Nigeria, we should not expect any ruling class group or party to combat corruption at the root.
“It is time we Nigerians gave up the illusion that coalitions of businessmen and businesswomen, ethnic and religious politicians, who need the resources of the state to survive, will save Nigeria from corruption. Put differently, the rulers of Nigeria need corruption to retain their collective rule”.
Recall that in the space of few months, the country has been thrown into crisis resulting in the death of many innocent Nigerians.
Most of the killings have been instigated by clashes between farmers and herdsmen including terrorism championed by the Boko Haram sect.