…threatens to embark on nationwide protest over FG’s disobedience to Industrial Court judgment
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—AHEAD of the 2019 general elections, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, has advised political parties to stop labeling opponents as thieves, saying that Nigerians are not after who is a thief but candidates and political parties that will better their lots.
SSANU also threatened to embark on a three day nationwide protest in all the universities for the alleged Federal Government’s delay in the payment of N8 billion Earned Allowance and the disobedience to the Industry Court judgment that sacked staff school teachers should be reinstated.
The National President of SSANU, Samson Chijioke Ugwoke in his speech at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting at Enugu State University of Technology also frowned at the killing of soldiers in Melete military base in Borno State and advised the government to equip the Nigerian soldiers with the necessary fire arms.
He said, “SSANU this morning (Wednesday) decided to embark on three day SSANU national protest by the upper week the date will be given to you to protest the delay in the payment of N8 billion Earned Allowance to SSANU members. We will also protest the non implementation of the staff schools judgment by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja.
“That protest will take place in every branch of our universities across the country simultaneously, that will draw the attention of the federal government on the need to do the needful.
“On 2019 general election, SSANU is happy that so far, the political parties have concluded their primaries but we advice that the campaigns should be issue oriented, no attack on persons or personalities.
“Nigerians are not after who is a thief or not a thief, don’t tell us, we know those who are thieves because we have seen that a thief also calls another one a thief. It is just a case of kettle calling pots black, 99 percent of them are thieves and they made their money through our public treasury. So who has the moral right of calling the other person a thief? So, let them tackle issues, tell Nigerians what they will do to better the lots of Nigerians.
“SSANU is also against votes buying and decides that they (political parties) Should convince the people on what they will do, votes buying is mortgaging the conscience and the rights of Nigerians because once they pay for the votes, they enter office, they will recoup their money and they have no obligation to serve anybody.
“But if we allow our people through our votes, if you are there, you know you are there by the volition and power of Nigerian electorate. So we believe that for a free, fair and credible election to be held, votes buying should be condemned.
“We also kick against fake news. Fake news comes in many ways. We advice the parties to play by the rules.
“In the case of insurgency, it is becoming worrisome. We are told that Boko Haram has been decimated and degraded and completely wiped out, but SSANU is surprised that in recent months, Boko Haram has been dealing deadly blows on our soldiers. The latest being the attack on Metele military camp, for that being what the insurgents are doing to our own trained national army, well, it is a shame.
“I am also disturbed when I read on paper that the controversial $1 billion between the executive and the National Assembly some time ago has not been released to the army. And if you are able to watch the Metele attack, the insurgents killed our soldiers and collected their riffles and even kicked the dead soldiers, they are kicking Nigerians not that hero who died while trying to defend the country.
“But I will take this further, these terrorists move from somewhere, most of them Arabs, they moved from countries within the Chad Basin Commission into Borno state, what is the role of the Chad Basin Joint Commission in the fight against insurgence within the Chad Basin territory?
They carry motorized armored personnel carrier tanks, rocket launchers, they passed through a country into Nigeria, are we saying that the security agents in those countries don’t know that they are passing and they are not attacking the country’s soldiers, the aim is to destabilize Nigeria army.
My call on the federal government is that they should call this country to order or else we channel if we have the fire power to attack their own soldiers too in a way of chasing away the insurgents attacking us.
I am also calling on government to call a meeting on Chad Basin countries and discus the issue of insurgency within them. I also call on the federal government, let the buying of arms not being only on the newspapers, let it be physical, they should not be exposing the young military officers, they should not be wasted. These are Nigerians, they have wives, and they have children. I appeal that government should arm our soldiers to the teeth.”