By Taye Obateru
Jos – Worried by the attitude of some elected leaders to educational development, the Academic Staff Association of Polytechnics, ASUP has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to consider conducting psychiatry tests for those wishing to contest future elections.
ASUP National President, Comrade Chibuzor Asomugha who stated this while addressing journalists in the Plateau State capital on Thursday said “INEC should in future demand a psychiatry profiling for all aspiring to electoral positions.”
Asomugha who led other leaders of ASUP on a solidarity visit to its members in Plateau State regretted that unlike in other states where progress was being made, the state of education in Plateau State at all levels had been on gradual decline because of the attitude of the state government.
“In 2011, we envisioned the collapse of education in Plateau State and warned that unless urgent steps were taken to address the deterioration, the state was in for the worst. The situation since then has continued to unveil gory pictures of systemic destruction of education in Plateau State.
“Government’s approach to events in the education sector has continued to infect her search for progress in the state, thus leaving on its tail huge deficits on the dreams of the founding fathers of the state and indeed the future of several generations of Plateau people”, he said.
ASUP said the decline in the performance of students in the state in the West African School Certificate and National Examination Council examinations in the last five years spoke volumes of the situation.
It sympathized with teachers and pupils of public primary schools and local government staff in the state who have been at home since May this year over government’s alleged failure to pay the N18,000 minimum wage.
The ASUP president alleged that the high handed attitude of the state government which made it renege on the agreement reached with workers of the state owned tertiary institutions by not paying their their three month salaries after they called off their prolonged strike last year had resulted in a brain drain.
According to him, “As at the last count, no fewer than 50 lecturers from tertiary institutions in the state have left the services of the state government for greener grazing fields” accusing the state government of interpreting the no work, no pay clause of the labour law as it deems convenient while ignoring the conditions attached to it.
He said the union will join other unions in their proposed massive action against the state governmet.