From Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is planning to sponsor a bill to National Assembly that will compel public servants and elected officials to take their children to public schools.
President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who made the disclosure, lamented that government has abandoned public education.
He was speaking at a one-day summit organised by the Bauchi Zone of the union with the theme: ‘Nigeria: The State of the Nation’ held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi recently.
He said that the bill ‘Bring Back Your Children’ would soon be sponsored at the National Assembly by the union.
He said that leaders of the nation, after killing education, now look for other countries to send their children to study.
Prof. Osodeke declared that the union would mobilise the people of the country to march to the National Assembly to demand that the bill be passed for all elected public officers to send their children to the nation’s public schools.
“Today, the leaders of this country and …Send own children to study abroad -ASUU those who control our wealth, have completely abandoned education,” the ASUU President said.
“Today , this country is reaping the work of our abandoning education and what do they do as an alternative? “They have created avenue for themselves in such a way that having killed our education, they look for somewhere else where people invested in education to send their children, their wards and relations.
“That is where we are and as a union, we are having one proposition we have put forward. I have asked the committee on ICT to work on it.
We are going to storm the National Assembly with a bill which will be titled: ‘Bring Back Your Children.’ “We are going to mobilise the students, the NGOs and all of us will storm the National Assembly and we will ensure that that bill is passed.
When you get our resources, your children must be in Nigerian schools whether it is primary, secondary or tertiary institutions.
“I’m sure if all the children of all these our so-called leaders are in this country, our education will not be where it is today, they will pay attention to it.
But they don’t care and why are they doing it? But they don’t care. Your own child go to a school where there is hardly anything,” Prof. Osodeke stated.
He disclosed that insecurity in the country was the result of abandoning education by the leaders.
“Any country that abandons education is creating insecurity and that’s exactly where we are today,” he opined. “Many of our colleagues are now afraid to travel by road.
Many people are even afraid to visit their children in schools while some are even afraid to send their children to school because we have reached a stage where nobody is safe whether you are going by road, by air, by sea or by train,” he emphasised.
The ASUU President said that the situation in public institutions across the country is pathetic. “We were in a state university in Abuja Zone and we saw a room, 12 by 12, with 16 female students who have stoves.
In that small room, you have 16 stoves, how would they survive as human beings? “As I speak to you today, look at your professors here, none of them earn up to $800 monthly but a lecturer will publish a paper and it will cost him $200 to publish it and he needs it for his promotion.
How can we have peace? “This country is heading towards complete annihilation and we must prevent it and that is why we are here. “Our problem has nothing to do with ethnicity, religion or where you are.
There are just two classes of Nigerians, those being oppressed and just about 10 per cent oppressing these 90 per cent,” he added.
He said that the summit was to discuss and come up with resolutions that would ensure that the country is revamped and taken over from “this set of people who have completely ruined this country and are still in the process of ruining it.”
ASUU, Bauchi zone consists of University of Jos, Plateau State; Plateau State University, Bokkos; Bauchi State University, Gadau; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Gombe State University and Federal University, Kashere in Gombe State.