Planned Protest: Open Letter To NANS President by Enemama Sam Akubor

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A SHORT OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA STUDENT(NANS)-TIJANI USMAN: THE PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRATIC UNIONISM SHOULD BE THE CARDINAL POINT.
Dear Presido,

 

When I woke up this morning and saw these  screaming headline “Prolonged KSU Strike: NANS Passes Vote of no Confidence on Kogi State Govt” and that the The national leadership of National Association of Nigeria Student, NANS, has resolved to go on with the planned protest to force an early re-opening of the famous Kogi-State University, Anyigba, starting from Wednesday, 13th July, 2016, being the terminal date of the seven (7) days ultimatum without any appreciable effort of commitment by government to resolve ASUU, Kogi State chapter crisis and return students back to campus.
Being a strong or should I call it a kwashiokored critics of the mal-administration  and financial recklessness of this present administration, one would have expected me to jump up because as from Wednesday there will be another feather of criticism that will be hatched into the polity. But a little iota of common sense and logical reasoning came upon me and I asked myself these THREE questions and reflected on them,hence i decided to put them forward to you  and you management team.
FIRSTLY, ARE YOU SURE THAT THIS PLANNED PROTEST IS NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR SPONSORED? Mr. President are you sure that these planned protest is for the interest of the students as well as that of the educational community of the state as a whole, or its been sponsored by some political enemies of the administration of Yahaya Bello. With my small knowledge of unionism the role expected to be played by NANS is that of a adjudicator/mediator not that of a supporter of the COURSE of any of the party involved, especially when it involves industrial dispute between the Organised labour and  government. I understood that you people have tried all your best, but the government is not responding, hence you decided to use the ultimate weapon PROTEST?.
THIS is a democratic setting, and the idea of diplomatic and adjudicatory unionism should replace the old idea of ALUTA and militant unionism, continuous and persistent dialogue. Intervention in crisis situation should be more advocated and romanced. Remember there is no end dialogue, unless peace and harmony is returned and highest possible degree of normalcy is achieved. The use of words like passing a vote of no confidence on the government have shifted your struggles into the realms of politics,which gives the government the impression that the planned protest and activities of the UNION as anti-government,hence a great gap of lack of trust has been created. Hence the struggle is viewed by the government as  anti government and no longer a  student unionism struggle.
MY SECOND question here is that, WHY KOGI STATE FIRST? Mr. president, I know that during this regimes of yours, there are several academic institutions of higher learning in Nigeria that went on strike/or where shutdown or are still shut down for several months, either because of industrial actions or harsh academic policies on the students etc. but there was never a day that NANS decided to organise  a protest of such magnitude. Is it that NANS has suddenly discovered its lost battle axe, or you want to prove a point that “CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME” since you an indigene of the state? REMEMBER they are two things involved here; if the planned protest succeeds, you will be long remembered by the state educational community for the role you played in bringing stability to the educational terrain of the state. But what about if it fails???…your integrity as a person before that of the union is at stake. Think think think.
MY LAST QUESTION IS SIMPLE; CAN THE momentum be sustained? Mr. president, I am just been futuristic conscious here. Are you sure that you and your management team can sustain this type of struggle and extend it to others states and institutions where such conflicts or abnormalities occur? We have over 1000 institutions of higher learning in the country and what is good for one, certri-paribus should be good for the others. There is nothing bad in starting a struggle, but sustaining the struggle matters.
CONCLUSIVELY, being a Kogite, I decided to play a role of a peacemaker here; THE STATE is already engulfed in many socio-political cum economic mis-carriages and abnormalities. It is just like the proverbial drowning man, and organising such protest is just like pouring water on a drowning or already drowned man.
Mr. President and his team, just like the IGBOS will say Biko (abeg), employ the concept of democratic unionism clothed in the garment of dialogue and adjudication. I suggest that both parties be given more time, and the issue of the planned protest be shelved for the time being.
No amount of effort put in dialogue can be quantified unless peace and normalcy returns.
It is not all about the action, but knowing when and how to do it.

 

Yours in struggle,

Comrade Enemama Sam Akubor


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