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ASUU says FG must take responsibility for failure to prevent Plateau crisis
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), says the Federal Government should take responsibility for failure to anticipate, manage and control the crisis that led to the killings of over 120 people in three local government areas in Plateau State last month.
“The Federal Government’s handling of the issue has fallen far short of protecting certain constitutional provisions on fundamental human rights,” said Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
At the briefing tagged “State of the Nation: Time to end the drift”, Ogunyemi lamented that no government since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999 has provided security for Nigerians.
In particular, he accused government of failure to enforce section 17 (2b) of the Nigerian constitution which states that the sanctity of the human person shall be recognized and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced.
While noting that Nigerians had hoped for socio-economic opportunities that would improve their deplorable condition, the ASUU President lamented that “these hopes have been dashed and that the hope for any meaningful change in the near future appears bleak and bleaker each passing day.”
He said, from “Olusegun Obasanjo to Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and now, Muhammadu Buhari, each wing of the ruling class in the saddle has made promises it never meant to keep.”
Ogunyemi explained that the farmers-pastoralists conflict is an outcome of a combination of environmental ecological crisis, and socio-historically derived problems which the ruling class of Nigeria, in its different wings, has been manipulating to suit its economic and political goals.
“The Nigerian people− workers, farmers, students, the unemployed, all victims of the crisis are now being fed with crude religious and ethnic interpretations of the conflict.”
He said that the chief beneficiaries of the crisis are the rich cattle farmers while the victims are the poor peasant farmers and the hired cattle farmers who have been forced by their function of servitude to master employers to kill one another, in the interest of their masters.
The Federal Government, Ogunyemi emphasized, must deal in accordance with the law, with all those who are established to have sponsored or committed such heinous crimes against fellow citizens.
“The rehabilitation of the affected communities must be a matter of priority for the Federal Government.”