By Hashim Suleiman
Unfortunately, the gullibility of Nigerians have left some of us with no option but to continue to utilize opportunities to create awareness to how certain people use the opportunities they’ve gotten cheaply to acquire positions rightly or wrongly to hoodwink the society into rejecting our best on the basis of politics, bigotry and sentiments. This cannot continue and some of us will continue to test some of these pronouncements and decisions that have the coloration of a ‘Pull Him Down’ syndrome.
The happenings lately point to the fact that certain opportunists in this country are largely overrated just like we woke up to a worrying news about how the much celebrated Abba Kyari was caught in a planned operation negotiating bribe for drug trafficking, overrated right? Yes indeed. So many other individuals who have been opportune to hold positions of public interest have proved to be overrated in all sense of criticality and such people can only find prominence in a Nigeria where majority of the citizenry are bereft of critical thinking that should enable them discern through comments and opinions. Thankfully though, Nigerians are daily coming through their shenanigans and calling them out when necessary, ask NANS and NLC.
Just recently during the whole debate about removal or not of fuel subsidy, I watched severally the NLC president making no technical explanations as to why the subsidies should not go when the county’s revenue are daily dwindling and leaving no choice but to keep borrowing to meet up and continually servicing those debts too. All he was doing was trying to play on the sensibilities of average Nigerians as relates to suffering and what not without recourse to the long term sustainability of the subsidies. He kept speaking about how the refineries must be fixed and managed by government as though he was living in another country other than Nigeria where there is deficit of managerial capability in the public service to manage these infrastructure. He never gave a way out and such leaves some of us to conclude these people are working on the gullibility of Nigerians to protect certain interests.
These types of individuals are found in all associations and unions in this county and it gives some of us a serious concern. They appropriate some kind of powers to themselves that the constitution or any legislation has not granted them. They latch on the gullibility of the people to propagate their personal opinions and agenda which are usually hinged on emptiness and/or sentiments. Little wonder why the then General Sani Abacha of blessed memory dissolved some of these unions because they were becoming a nuisance and forming a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress. Some of us can also say a lot about the workings of unions and associations from school days till now, this was suppose to be a testing grounds for leadership but honestly if the kinds of decisions that come out from the leadership of these unions and association is what to replicate at governance level, Nigeria would have been long vanished from comity of nations.
Just earlier today, I read an opinion on Facebook where the user wondered why Prof Dora Akunyili of blessed memory was awarded professorship while at the helm of NAFDAC and that elicited so much praises and applause but Prof Pantami’s must be criticized and condemned. Is it connected to Pantami’s creed, one would only wonder. Pantami just like Akunyili ascended his political position with a legitimate PhD as well as experience from lecturing. If all of the reforms he has brought and which have been culminated into a book by the cerebral PRNigeria center is not enough to award a Dr. and a proven lecturer professorship, what could ever be? Is it sex for marks efforts or lecture notes merchandising that must form a basis for the award? Perhaps that’s the opinion of the latter day ASUU on their opinion of the professorship award to Pantami.
ASUU must be reminded that they are a voluntary organization and the last I checked is that laws of the land never awarded ASUU any right to award academic qualifications even though they could have an opinion as enshrined in a democracy but a supposedly responsible organization like them should not be seen to be churning out cheap opinions that have no ability to improve the overall intellectual capacity of the nation, we will puncture it and speak about it. The Federal University, Owerri was established by law to deliberate on issues and legislate on them in accordance with the laws that establishes them and not the laws and opinions of ASUU.
I am using this opportunity to ask Prof Pantami to keep his head up and remain proud of his well deserved award of professorship and if he deemed fit he could sue ASUU for delving into a matter that is off their jurisdiction to decide on which has led to smear campaign of some sort. Some or all of the staff and lecturers of FUT, Owerri may be members of ASUU but that must not take away their right to deliberate on a matter of celebrating a successful scholar for national development and mentorship to younger ones. This must also make FUTO to take a bold step in distinguishing between unionism and the independence of their rights as enshrined in law.
We already have enough of today’s young people imbibing so much of the ‘Pull Him Down’ syndrome and we cannot allows ASUU and other unions to add to it, we’d rather stick to Prof Pantami and FUTO for mentoring and teaching young ones on how to utilize given opportunities for ascendence to excellence.
May God Bless Nigeria