By Festus Ahon
UGHELLIâ€”CHAIRMAN of Delta State University, Abraka, Chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Patrick Muoboghare, has called on the National Assembly not to pass the petroleum bill before it into law in the interest of peaceful coexistence of the country.
Muoboghare, who made the call in an exclusive interview with Vanguard in Ughelli, Delta State, yesterday commended the South-South governors for coming together to speak in one voice challenging the proposed bill.
He said:Â Â â€œFortunately, for once the governors of the South-South have come together to speak with one voice, challenging that bill. I am queuing behind our governors on that. Let the governors do all their diplomacy, the rest of us will do the shoving.
â€œIf the National Assembly feels that the Niger Delta or the South-South is still part of Nigeria, they must not pass that bill. If they pass that bill, it means they have declared war against the Niger Delta.
â€œIt is better for a man to die fighting than run away… If and when the time comes on this issue, I should be counted among those fighting, not among those running. I will not run, that is the truth of the matter.
On the ongoing strike by ASUU, Muoboghare said:Â â€œI said it before that this government is deaf and dumb. As far as this government is concerned, the universities may remain closed for one year or two years”.
â€œThe more you close the universities, the less the government will spend on the universities. They want to save as much money as possible to do some illegal things.
â€œThe money to spend on the universities is enough for them to pay their thugs. How many of them have been kidnapped? They are not bothered, Bishops are being kidnapped and the President is not bothered that a Bishop is kidnapped, a Bishop is robbed. And he still feels that he is a president; the things happening in Nigeria is enough for anybody to resign.
â€œThe worst of it all is that while universities are closing, a minister could spend N120 million to remember his marriage of twenty-five years. And the minister in charge of information, Dora Akinyili who is supposed to be re-branding Nigeria was there at the party dancing, not with her husband. What are you telling the world?Â What kind of re-branding are you re-branding Nigeria?
â€œYou went to celebrate with a man who has made twenty-five years of marriage, while your universities are closed, your children are at home roaming, you were dancing, CNN showed it, they were bugging, not just dancing, as the Warri boys will say, they were bugging.
â€œThose characters and they are still ministers. Frankly speaking, you think if it were to be in the U.S that this thing happened, that man will go to work the following day as a minister? That woman will not step into her office as a minister. They should re-brand Nigeria in such a way that university will run.â€