By Abdulmumin Giwa
As a guest speaker at a the unveiling of the first edition of the Legacy Secretariat Magazine of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), tagged “The Activist: pains and gains in activism, in honor of Chief Maqual George Michael Kuba, Veteran activist”, Sen. Shehu Sani told newsmen that “If there has never been shortage of money in politics, why should there be shortage if money in public education?”
At the event which took place in Abuja on Friday 20th of November 2020, the renown human rights activist expressed dismay over the lack of political will by those in authority to save the public education sector in Nigeria from total collapse by allowing its plight to permeate even further to the tertiary level.
“People in power today were beneficiaries of free education from primary to secondary to tertiary institutions” he laments.
Speaking about the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Sani explained that political office holders in Nigeria will never send their own children to public schools they attended because they know how dilapidated they are and now the same bad situation is being passed on to the Universities.
“Most people who are in position of power today from councillors, to Local Government Chairmen, to state members of House of Assembly, to House of Reps members to Senators, to Ministers, to Governors, nobody can take his children to the school he attended. The public primary school has been destroyed, the public secondary school his been destroyed and now the destruction has reached the public universities” the comrade expressed dismay.
He therefore called on the Nigerian authorities to save the public education sector and pay ASUU what it is due. He reminded the authorities that ASUU is not a political party nor a composition of politicians but a union of university intellectuals.
“My view is that government should do all it can to address the grievances of the Academic Staff Union of Universities. ASUU is not a political organization, is not a political party and is not also a partisan society. It is an organization of intellectuals and has been standing and fighting for the rights of poor people to have their children educated in public schools” he expressed.
He further called on the government saying “It is important that we listen to ASUU and do everything possible to assent to their demands”.