As ASUU members smile to the banks

By Segun Adebiyi

All things being equal, members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, in the next couple of weeks, will be smiling to their various banks to collect salaries for the five months they did not work. That is in addition to the contraption called Earned Allowance, where teachers collect pay for marking scripts and supervising students’ projects! That can only happen in Nigeria.

  Majority of these same lecturers will only come to class two or three times in a semester, demand sex for marks (some even tell the female students to book hotels at their own expense), brown envelopes for mark boosting, mismanage their institutions’ IGRs (VCs were once ASUU members), among other crimes against the very children we ask them to nurture for us. 

  Of course, a couple of ASUU members will tell you that they were doing research while the strike lasted. Yes, research via http://www.google.com! Let them publish the results of the research. A thorough appraisal of the quality of lecturers will show that at least half of those teaching our children now have no such intellectual capacity. What is, essentially, on parade now on our campuses is intellectual bankruptcy.

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  If Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie got 40 per cent salary increase for ASUU after a four-month strike in 2009, including payment for the period of the strike and Dr. Nasir Fagge got N40 billion Earned Allowance, including payment for five months that ASUU did not work, any wonder what the next ASUU president will do?

  I feel personally pained that ASUU is merely deceiving the public and cheating the system just like the political class.

  Other labour unions are watching with keen interest.  If you collect salaries for going on strike for five months, we as well can go on strike for 10 or 12 months and then compel government to sign a non-victimisation clause, which means, according to ASUU’s dictionary, payment for the period they were on strike!

 

  I once told my lecturer friend that he was free to resign, contest election to the Senate, so he could earn an ‘elephant salary’ a month. But with the caveat that he also risked being kidnapped or assassinated like any typical Nigerian politician. Yes, politics is big business but it’s also a big risk in Nigeria.

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  Yes, ASUU members, go and smile to the banks at the expense of your students who stayed at home for five months, wasted their accommodation fees, year of graduation, NYSC (service year) and went into avoidable sundry crimes. We know so many children of members of ASUU in private universities in Nigeria and abroad. Can Dr. Fagge contradict that?

  It does not matter how much you pump into the varsities, the funds will still be mismanaged by former ASUU members now in management positions (and they are mismanaging everything, including elections). Will the lazy, randy, absentee and empty-brained dons give what they don’t have to their students, even if you throw a trillion naira into the varsities? Ah ah ah, rot in the education sector. Who are the profiteers?

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Terror under the flyover…

• Danger still lurks for passers-by at Clifford Orji’s Apakun kitchen

By Abdulwaheed Usamah

BARELY a decade and half since the departure of the reported cannibal, Clifford Orji, from the vast expanse of land in the Isolo area, beneath the Apakun and Toyota Bus Stop flyover that connects Airport Road, heinous crimes still abound in the place.

  Just at the same spot where notorious Orji, who reportedly died in prison, was caught with remains of human parts, leftovers from his previous meals, dangers have been continuously lurking passersby at dusk.

  Since that celebrated incidence, several crimes are still being perpetuated under the flyover as passersby tell tales of woes especially from dusk, lamenting that even Lagos State Government’s effort to beautify the vast space with ornamental plants, flowers and lawns has not rid the place of bad encounters.

  When The Guardian visited the spot based on several victims’ complaints recently, it learnt that just the previous night a lady in her early 30s trying to make her way to the other side of the bridge was raped by some unidentified men perpetuating crime in and around the place.

  “I heard noise in the garden and I decided to trace the direction where the noise had been emanating from because I was high but normal to move about, and on getting there, I saw the lady frailly-looking on the ground, and realised she had just been raped”, one Mr. Emmanuel told The Guardian.

  Meanwhile, it was not until in recent times that a different kind of danger began to lurk around the area.

 Although this time, while nobody was reported kidnapped or another Clifford discovered, armed robbers and rapists have now turned the area into such a favourite hunting ground that it must now rank as one of the darkest spots in the Lagos metropolis.

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Tales of the horror that Lagosians have experienced in the area abound.

  A gardener, Kelvin John, who mans a garden under the bridge, told The Guardian that the rate of crimes at the spot is worst and that even his brother, who had come on a visit from Ghana, was robbed by some men in the area.

  He said the robbery lasted for several hours, alleging that it was in full glare of police officers from a nearby station.

   According to Kelvin: “My brother was beaten black and blue before the hoodlums made away with his money and other personal belongings and vanished into thin air. Once it is dark, the whole under-bridge becomes quite unsafe for anybody who walks around the area.”

   A block manufacturer working under the flyover, Akinjide Alao, testified to how people lose personal effects to unidentified men there on a daily basis if they mistakenly pass through the spot at dusk.

  He said robberies happen at night when most of the block-makers would had gone home, explaining that he and his workers normally get the bad news from security guards and a gardener who works on the other side of the road when they resume work in the morning.

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“People have severally lodged complaints at the Airport Police Station, Ajao Estate and Oshodi,” he said.

 A woman who pleaded anonymity also told The Guardian that those who commit crime in the place do not reside in the neighbourhood but come from other places to rob there.

 Efforts by The Guardian to speak with the Divisional Police Officer at the Airport Police Station as well as the management of the garden under the bridge on the issue proved abortive.