By Sani Idris
The image, integrity and repute of university scholars are been globally acclaimed and are not in any way matchable to other personalities in such regards. This is because, their knowledge, profession, wisdoms and experiences encode into them a well entrenched discipline and high degree moral values. Academia is considered generally as a community for sacred, pious and high-esteemers as well as a hatchery unit for well grounded intellectuals. Scholars are highly principled, very modest,
ideologically and attitudinally decent.
They don’t get flexed for worldly gain, be it women lustre; bundles of cash; or lucrative favors. Neither are they easily deluded nor wittly shortchanged. True scholars generate truth, promote it and safeguard it at all cost. Neither gold nor cash do they bother about, only brain and dusty books – their tools for salvaging humanity out of mess, misgivings, and misfortunes. Scholars prefer to retire honorably than to stay in service unceremoniously. In the present situation, at times, I pause a little pondering upon, how integrity and decency suffer irreparable damage in the hand of rotten eggs. One is left imagining how fast will integrity and discipline in academia continue to drain down the gutter so profusely in the custody of demonic lecturers? Though, very few in number; yes, I mean the ‘Judases’ are very little in numeric sense, BUT, the consequences of their behaviors have been so heavy for ASUU and the entire education system to bear. Internal saboteurs are habitually too egocentric, dilute-minded and immediate-desire- quenchers. They care very little about the general effect and long-term damage their (in)actions may cause to the university system. I believe they are “born in a barn” academics. Ordinarily, academics go to any length and breath to defend their hard earned image, value and profession. To them, the sactity of ASUU and education system is holy and delicate, therefore craves for every kind of sacrifice to protect it against a pinch. Academics suppose to be exampilary, pragmatic and oneworded.
Today, internal saboteurs have been corroding the legendary image of academics, causing untold disgrace, curses, and stigmatization to the entire university community. Strict complaince to ethics and professionalism is being toyed with. Do you wish to know the internal saboteurs? They are those academics who:
- collect bribe to compromise election results
- demand for mere sexual pleasure and/or cash for grade
- give undeserved positive accreditation remarks in exchange of brown envelope or out of favor
- don’t live up to their primary responsibilities
- applied for N-Power recruitment
- are masquerading as members of fragmental CONUA
- try by all means possible to recruit ONLY members of their immediate family and close allies into teaching slots at the expense of brilliant, hardworking and well-mannered graduates
- relegate the principle of mentorship and guardianship (perceived students as their enemies or competitors)
- choose to be braindead by not updating their skill and expertise.
Some students also fall into the category of internal saboteurs. Their attitude towards ASUU is too derigatory and mischievous. They opt to take side with the enemies of the system and even laugh aloud when anything negative befall ASUU and its members. What a backstabbing! – biting the finger that feeds you. It needs no mention that, lecturers transfer knowledge, skills and good characters to students NEITHER through Bluetooth nor Xender but through years of physical contacts (teaching, excursions, lab works, workshops, field works, orientation), yet students jubilate when their lecturers are persecuted by the enemies of education; the government officials. Those officials who mercilessly squander our common wealth to sponsor their children’s education abroad. Those officials who want the students to continue sharing toilet seaters in the ratio of 30 students per seater per hour. Yet, students empty out their venom onto ASUU and celebrate the monstrous government officials. One wonders whether these students are symptomatically gullibles or insane? I can’t say. However, one thing is evidently not disputable – that most of our students are merely passing through the university without the university system passing through them. Majority of their argument.
I was able to gather depict that, students are only knowledgeable about Student-Lecturer relationship (lectures, assignments, handout and exams issues) which I termed “Three-limbs-amputated- knowledge”. They know very little, if not at all nothing about how university system operates; the components that make up a functional university system and University/FG relationship
Leadership of the other union had been playing sportsmanship role during the past ASUU’s struggles, not until lately when they mistakenly goofed in one of their negotiation with FG. Instead of them to take full responsibility of their shortcomings as the saying goes – ” there is no perfection in humanity”; they briskly decided to blindfold their members by shifting the blame to ASUU. However, the continued propagation of such cloned blames is no longer gaining ground as truth always prevails. This led to the hitherto insorbordination and sabotage in the part of the other union against the ASUU’s stand-alone struggle. Presently, many followers and some leaders with good thinking cap have come to the realization that; ASUU and the other union are better together than apart, as whatever witch-hunt one union will equally go for the other. Together we flourish and divided we perish
External saboteurs are totally outside the university system. Some of them have experienced some level of the university operating system while others have not. They are noticeable in media platforms as public commentators and opinion writers. Most of the contents of their comments or write-ups on education and ASUU are meritless trashes suitable only for the Dustbin. What do you have to say of a commentator who think that sabbatical and visiting appointments are legitimate positions for first degree graduate? I asked severally, must someone comment out of sheer ignorance just to be called public affairs analyst?
Whatever one believes in; be it God, Goddess, ALLAH, Amulet, Reasoning, or Superstition, as time somersault; injustice, treachery, malignity, subjugation, cruelty, greediness and all bad intents meted out against education system and its promoters would surely be compensated. And sure enough Babalakin is beginning to reap the produce of his shenanigans.This is the gift of nature. The compensations will continue to betide education saboteurs in divergent ways. Shame, disdain and lack of confidence will engulf some, while others will be evicted from service in the most disgusting way. Beloved children of some of them will be professional drug-addicted or blue prostitutes after studying abroad. Some will slump in court or before national interrogation panel. Whistle blowers will lead to permanent forfeiture of the wealth they illegally acquired. Others will encounter Yahoo boys and fraudsters and some will be struggling with ill-health. Thunderstorm of social media will unearth lethal action of some and disgracefully send them to evil forest; whilst time will depose others from emperors to nonentities. What is more shameful than seeing your nudity circulating from one media group to another as a sex-for-grade-lecturer? Some would be reduced to old men rather than elder statemen. These might be just a few. All I’m trying to figure out is “You reap what you sow” idiomatic phrase.
Having exhausted my discussion on various categories of saboteurs in part 1 and 2, I would like to make a golden appeal to astute ASUU members to be extraordinary in their patience, courage and perseverance. The appeal becomes necessary because of the amoeboid temptations that come from the various saboteur groups which trigger some members to renew call for total stoppage of ASUU’s agitation for revitalization and academic freedom, thereby concentrating on welfare objective alone. I share similar agony with you in that regard, but I strongly feel that ASUU’s struggle should affect positively the yet unborn generations which could only be through fighting for revitalization and academic freedom. Howbeit, it’s high time ASUU prioritizes welfare of its members. All time long I have been reading ASUU’s official list of demand during negotiations, members’ welfare item appears last on the list. Indeed, promotion of members’ welfare has been long over due. How could an item remained neither promoted nor demoted from 2009 to date?
Sani Idris,Department of Soil Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria-Nigeria.