Injustices, poverty pushing many Nigerians into crime – ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has declared that injustices meted to Nigerians by the political class has forced many of them to wage war against the country.

ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, who made this declaration on Wednesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, also disclosed that Nigeria will continue to battle insecurity unless President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration addressed the problems of injustice in the country.

He said injustices to Nigerians by the ruling class included destruction and neglect of public utilities, including education, roads, health and high rate of unemployment.

Ogunyemi who, disclosed that the UNILORIN 49 lecturers sacked unjustly by the University of Ilorin had established a Foundation for Justice, stated that the union will continue to fight against oppression in the academia and by government against the education sector in Nigeria.

He noted that no country experienced peace where the majority were poor and exploited, while the minority and in particular the political class fed fat on public money for their self aggrandisement and family.

Ogunyemi while speaking further said it remained a sad commentary that the Buhari government continued to allocate miserable money to fund education in Nigeria. learnt that the UNILORIN 49 academics were unjustly sacked by the University of Ilorin in 2001 for participating in the National strike of ASUU but got reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Three of these lecturers died in the course of the legal battle which lasted eight years.

Ogunyemi who frowned at this sad development noted that oppression was found everywhere with daily denial of democratic rights to Nigerians by the political class and the agents of the state “via unlawful arrests, denial of freedom to association, failure to keep lawful agreements, non-payment of salaries, allowances and pensions”.

“In view of the sad ubiquity of oppression in our nation, oppression is everywhere.

“However, the decision of the victimised group, UNILORIN 49 to establish a foundation to assist similarly victimised persons and groups is unique in the history of labour struggles in Nigeria.

“Justice is the only condition for peace in Nigeria. When there is an injustice there will not be peace. No country can be at peace or succeed in an atmosphere of oppression and injustice. No such country can foster a true sense of belonging”, he said.

Chairman of the Foundation, Professor Taiwo Oloruntoba Oju stated that “The so called war on corruption in the country cannot succeed in an atmosphere of social and economic injustice of jobless and unpaid citizens, of unpaid and oppressed workers and journalists, of uneducated and oppressed men and women and of marginalised and dehumanised citizenry.

“Justice is the first condition for peace and development”.