Niyi Akinnaso’s “ASUU: On The Path Of Self-Destruction” As Manifestation Of Intellect Worker By Busuyi Mekusi


ASUU President Nasir Fagge hand on jawOne of the common privileges attainable in a democratic state, however warped, is the opportunity for individuals to be able to externalize their thoughts, not minding the fickleness identifiable in such, or the illogicality that inadvertently exposes the poisoned emotions that underlay them. Nevertheless, intellectualism and sanctity dictate that the public space for engagement be preserved so that other users would not be denied their opportunities. The foregoing applies to the reception of the article written by Professor Niyi Akinnaso in the December 3rd edition of The Punch newspapers. For the sake of appropriateness, permit me to also draw from the character of tortoise (the trickster) from whom Niyi Akinnaso borrowed his concept of Alaseju, as I conceptualise around the notion of Imotaraeni (selfishness). It is important to quickly emphasize here some of the salient  points raised by Niyi Akinnaso in his article, which include: ASUU and the path of self-destruction; strike as a tired and worn-out strategy; students’ jeopardy; ASUU leaders having their heads carried away by kites in an attempt to save those of students; fruitless venture, etc.

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Niyi Akinnaso consistently tried to make his readers believe that the opinion of the generality of people was against the legitimate struggle by ASUU to push for the revamping of public Universities in Nigeria. This prejudicial disposition by a scholar who should countenance variant of opinions before making his postulations could not have obliterated the huge supports that the Union got along the line, notwithstanding the pervasive propagandas government relied on.

It may, therefore, not be out of place if Akinnaso’s piece is seen as a massaging of the machineries of government to always give ASUU a bad name in order to hang it. It is not surprising that Akinnaso opines that members of ASUU endangered their heads in the process of salvaging the precarious conditions of students in public universities because he would have thought that the best approach to it is to join the brain drain that has bedeviled our system and only return to the country when the most useful periods of their lives have been used to build institutions abroad. The exchanges Niyi Akinnaso had with some scholars of his age group on the serious debate of diasporic scholars and their contemporary at home sometime ago resonate copiously here. While it may be fashionable for people like Niyi Akinnaso to consistently write to perpetuate the political dynasty of some people, he should also be bold to avail us that the conditions of students in public universities in Nigeria will not matter to him as long as the enablers like accommodation, chauffeur-driven official car, etc., he enjoys from government are forthcoming. It should be made clear that we cannot all continue to function like a referred professor in the government house and have our independent scholarly minds smeared.

ASUU has consistently requested that people like Niyi Akinnaso, who see strike as a ‘worn-out’ strategy, should suggest alternatives that will complement its own quest for new strategies. It is also important to inform members of the public that the letter the AAUA chairperson of ASUU wrote to contract professors referred to by Akinnaso was simply meant to educate them about their constitutional rights and the need to help salvage the system rather than simply committed to the earning of salaries. The fact that all ASUU leaders were accused of this disposition by Akinnaso points to the fact that the Union runs on principles and not selective application of rules as most people are fond of doing. The same principles will help resist the repression of government who Akinnaso believes has seized the handle of the cutlass with which to injure ASUU members. The abdication simulated by agents of the center should not be seen as an evidence of victory for the likes of Akinnaso as the reactions that are being precipitated will only cause University Administrators and governments to develop blisters.

ASUU members will always make sacrifices to seek a better space for our students and will not allow any illegal attempt to deny them of their rights. Niyi Akinnaso may have got the contract to help import people who could help build bridges between our institutions and government houses like himself, and may therefore think that the current threat and highhandedness by the government would help create the vacancies that will justify his engagement. ASUU members will rather be happy being called Alaseju who is taking the sacrifice of the revamping of public Universities beyond the mosque rather than allow Imotaraeni (selfishness) to rule them by inclining themselves to self glorification and gratification, as well as the appeasement of paymasters.

Busuyi Mekusi
ASUU Chairperson, AAU, Akungba



Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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