The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU on Wednesday, took a swipe at the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari accusing it of paying lip services to ending the sufferings of the masses.
The union also carpeted the federal government over its economic policies, saying it was indirectly promoting neo-liberal and neo-conservative tendencies, against the wishes of the people who elected it into office.
ASUU called for a new party structure to promote the ideas and principles of welfarism, which it lamented the current ruling class has failed woefully to deliver.
President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, raised these issues at an interaction with the media at the National Headquarters of the union in the University of Abuja.
Ogunyemi also argued that Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution amplifies welfarism as fundamental objectives and direct principles of State policy but noted that this has not been the case in Nigeria since the administration of Buhari came on board.
He also accused the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, of falling short of expectations in leading the struggle against the neo-liberal policies of government.
The ASUU President lamented what he called the re-occurring decimal of anti-peoples policies by the federal government, insisting that allowing the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, IMF to dictate Nigeria’s economy system, inflicts a lot of hardship on majority of the people.
According to him, the union rose from its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held at Moddibo Adama University of Technology between March 26 and 27 nwhere it reviewed the state of affairs in the country.
“ASUU has had several cause to draw the attention of the Nigerian people to the need to understand the nature of the basic problems facing the people of Nigeria.
“Since the 1980s our union has together with the labour movement, cried out that the most crucial problems facing Nigeria are hunger, chronic unemployment, poverty, disease and absence of social welfare.
“These are products of the inability of the rulers to deliver policies that are pro-people. Our union still maintains that democracy is not equivalent to elections, the impoverished idea that democracy is competition for votes cannot explain why the majority of Nigerians are experiencing so much hardship, joblessness, hunger, stagnant medical care, insecurity of life even after the 2015 elections.
“The serious obstacle to democracy is not the people of Nigeria, the biggest obstacle is Nigeria’s ruling class. Since 1970s that class has caused economic, political and social crisis for the people of this country. It ruled Nigeria as agents of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank whose main economic doctrines are privatization of the economy, social welfare (education, medical care, transport) led by the Bretton Woods institutions.
“They have conditioned the people to expect falsely, that poverty, hunger, disease, will be seriously wiped out after elections, the people have witnessed neither welfare nor democracy,” ASUU said in its address.
The union noted that it was time for the Nigeria Labour Movement to lead the struggle on behalf of the people of Nigeria to reject both neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism and embark upon a people’s socialist construction.
Ogunyemi said that the union’s position is that “no ruling class party can deliver the fundamental objectives of the Nigerian state. A people’s party, party of workers, farmers, students, professionals, intellectuals, unemployed Nigerians is needed to organise resistance to neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism”.