By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, has warned that toying with the future of youth will spell doom for the dear country.
SSANU President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim gave the warning in his message to Nigerian workers on the occasion of the International Workers Day on 1st May.
He called on the federal government to look into the demands of the striking University based unions and take urgent steps to addressing them, so that students will go back to school.
He noted that Nigerian workers are passing through excruciating pains as a result of the hostile working environment even though they create and produce the wealth of the nation.
He said, “This year’s Workers Day comes when Nigerian workers are passing through perilous and dangerous times. Nigerian workers and indeed members of our great union are confronted with diverse challenges like rising spate of armed banditry, kidnappings, insurgency, economic hardship and worst of all the inability of government to keep to agreements entered into with all the University based unions in 2009.
“Our members have been denied payment of new Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment arrears and backlog of Earned allowances in addition to other violations of our rights and privileges.
“Our universities have been forced to shut down due to the insincerity of government to keep to its promises. The standard of education continues to go down due to the insensitivity of government and the inability to provide conducive teaching, learning and work environment through lack of provisions of basic facilities that would make them compete favourably with their peers in other parts of the world.
“The morale of University workers are dampened by the poor pay package and the government appears to be paying lip service in funding education. It is very clear that government pays more attention to frivolous things and have neglected the youths that are said to be the leaders of tomorrow.
“Despite the enormous resources God has blessed our beloved country with, those saddled with the responsibility of piloting its affairs have turned the resources to a curse.
“No nation makes progress in the midst of divisiveness, injustice, mismanagement of its resources and recriminations.
“I therefore call on government to make more efforts towards the restoration of security and prosperity to the country.
“I also urge the government and the security agencies to do more to checkmate increasing incidents of security threats in the entire country.
“Government should take urgent steps to address the myriad of challenges that led to the ongoing strike by the unions in the Universities.
“Toying with the future of our children will spell doom for our dear country.
“I call on government to look into the demands of all the University based unions and take urgent steps to addressing them, so that our children will go back to school.
I wish to also commend our Comrades for their perseverance in the midst of unfriendly and hostile working environment. I commend your endurance and tenacity. We shall in sha Allah overcome one day.”
Comrade Ibrahim said workers constitute the fulcrum of economic and social development in every nation and should be treated with the utmost respect.
“They create and produce the wealth of any nation or organization,” he said.
The SSANU boss saluted the courage and tenacity of Nigerian worker,s especially in the Citadels of learning in building a future of shared prosperity.
The four university based unions, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, SSANU, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational Institutions, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT have been on strike over the failure of the federal government to address their concerns.