The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nsukka zone, has insisted that it was high time Nigerians rose up to ensure that all of the nation’s public assets that were looted through privatisation, concessioning, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and the likes were taken back from the looters.
Rising from a one day symposium held, last week, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, the Union stressed the need for Nigeria’s economy to be driven by the interest of the majority working masses instead of the few capitalists holding sway at the expense of the poverty-stricken citizens.
In a communique issued by the body and signed by its communique drafting committee’s chairman, Prof. Mike Odey and Secretary, Dr. Elijah Ikpanor, the ASUU lamented the bourgeoning corruption among the ruling class which it noted, is to the disadvantage of the Nigerian masses, hence, the need for Nigerians to take back their country.
“Because of the elements of liberalism, there is high level or show off of corruption in the polity of Nigeria. This development has also called for response from different governments. With these, war against corruption strategies have appeared in the front burners. But, war against corruption is not new in Nigeria. However, it is just to legitimize the power of the ruling class. In the process, the ruling class has developed and regrouped themselves to jostle for space and recognition.
“We must wage a new patriotic struggle for political and economic independence of Nigeria from the two vultures. Nigeria’s working people must take their country back by declaring that the masses, not a few rich and their foreign masters, own Nigeria.”
While noting that the symposium was an activity of the Centre for Popular Education (CEPED) programme with the theme, “Neo-liberalism and Restructuring Agenda: Between the Nigerian Ruling Class and the Masses,” the body maintained that the current restructuring debate in Nigeria cannot be divorced from the problems arising from the crisis of neo-Iiberalism and global capitalism.
Pointing out that the prevailing situation had brought about lack of unity as could be seen in the secessionists and separatists agitations from different regions of the country for restructuring, ASUU insisted that, “to wipe out poverty, inequality, illiteracy, violence and crimes, Nigeria’s economy needs planning and with market mechanisms controlled by the interest of the masses of Nigeria’s working people.”
The communique added that the submissions were about the equitable distribution of resources to deemphasise the calls for geographical restructuring and therefore called on the working class, labour movements and intellectuals in Nigeria to be committed to and confront the problem of manipulation of ethno-religious sentiments, growth of inequality, poverty and corruption among others.