By Daud Olatunji
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has accused politicians of intentionally protecting private universities through their policies at the detriment of public universities.
The ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi who described the politicians as the ruling class insisted that they (politicians) did not want to fix public universities because it would fizzle out private universities in the country.
Ogunyemi said this during a press briefing shortly after ASSU held its National Executive Council meeting at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
He explained that the union had decided during the NEC meeting to reject the re-establishment of the National Education Bank.
The ASUU president further explained that the re-introduction of the scheme was an alleged plan by the ruling class to give out money to students in private universities where they allegedly have the investment.
He, however, vowed that the union would use all legitimate means to resist the re-introduction of the scheme in the interest of Nigerian students.
He said, “let me tell you we suspect that they want to give out this money to students in private universities where they have their investment because they know if they fix public universities today, private universities will fizzle out.
“That is what we see as the primary motive behind it and that is why we too will be opposing the idea of bringing back a project that fails after eight years of experiment
“We don’t want psychiatric cases to proliferate our universities. We are already seeing a trend that our students committing suicide.
“When you add this phenomenon of imposing loans on them, the fear of payment will start to generate anxiety. If the government knows that this money will not be paid, why not just make it scholarship and assist the children of the poor”.
The ASUU president also urged the government to democratise education at all levels.
He further charged the government to obey the 1999 constitution by making education free for all at all levels.
He added, “we are in a pathetic situation; they don’t know the magnanimity of the war of revenge that awaits them, if they know, they will democratise education.
“Nigerian constitution Chapter 2, section 18 states that education must be provided free at all level. But, the ruling class added a caveat to it “ as at when practicable”.