As Nigerians are celebrating the 62nd anniversary of nationhood, some residents of Ogun have continued to bear their minds on its journey so far.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abeokuta, they expressed mixed feelings on the political, social and economic development of the nation over the years.
In his views, Mr John Akpan, a Political Scientist, who went down memory lane, said Nigeria had demonstrated promising traits of greatness in its early years after independence.
Akpan recalled that Nigeria was competing favourably with the developed countries of the world, because of the accelerated growth from the emerging Northern, Eastern and Western regions due to the healthy competition among them.
He said that the parliamentary system of government, which Nigeria practiced at independence, allowed powers to be devolved to the regions and they controlled and managed their resources for their respective development.
Akpan explained that the system of government, however, gave way for a confederal system of government which the nation adopted when it became a Republic in 1963. The political scientist explained that the fortune of the nation took a downward turn when the military rulers who took over reins of power after the Jan. 15, 1966 coup suspended the Federal Constitution and began to rule by decree.
He noted that the states, which were created by the military government to replace the regions, became weak and subservient to the centre and there were no longer checks and balances.
“Nigeria made meaningful progress in its first five years of independence, but the gains could not be sustained by the military dictators who took over from the founding fathers of the nation,” he said.
Contributing, a Public Commentator, Mr Segun Akindiya, said that the inability to manage resources from the discovery of oil was a major setback for the nation “With the advent of the oil money, the leaders abandoned agriculture, mining and other sectors which were the mainstay of the economy,” he said .
Contributing, Mr Jamil Abolade, the Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abeokuta branch, also blamed the country’s underdevelopment on bad leadership.
Abolade noted that the developed nation’s of the world had been fortunate to have committed leaders who had turned their fortunes around.
According to him, the bad leadership has been responsible for other problems like infrastructural decay, epileptic power supply, corruption, bad health and educational systems and insecurity.
The lawyer stated that Nigeria”s population was the only thing that had continued to experience steady growth while other important areas of the country had remained stagnant.
He called for quality investment in the education sector as part of efforts to transform the nation.
Also, Mr Akeem Lasisi, Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Ogun, expressed displeasure over the situation of the nation.
Lasisi said that successive governments had veered from the vision, path and legacies bequeathed to them by the founding founders.
“Consider the fact that the Naira which in the 1960s and 1970s, was stronger than the dollar and many other currencies, has now become so low in value, because of bad managers of the economy.
“Our roads and other infrastructure are nothing to be proud of, because successive governments have abandoned them as they pursued after ringworm and leaving out leprosy.
“Our core values have gone down the drain, while our political, religious, traditional and other leaders watch and and do nothing.
“In some cases, it is pathetic to observe that the same leaders and elders who should be the custodians and protectors of these once cherished values, are the ones destroying them.
“A society whose core socioeconomic values, education and healthcare services are destroyed, is in itself destroyed; that explains where we are now,” he said.
Lasisi, however, said that the challenges of Nigeria were surmountable, enjoining the leaders to make the people core centre of governance.
He advocated quality investment in the people of the nation through education, adding that quality of the people of a nation determines its level of development.
Also, Mr Damilola Simeon, the state Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), blamed the low performance of the nation since independence on “bad leadership”.
Simeon explained that the leadership gap had led to disunity, corruption, lack of productivity, among others, adding that the situation had resulted in underdevelopment of the country.
“Nigeria has not been seriously and sincerely investing in education, capacity building and empowerment of youths and engaging them meaningfully.
“Nigeria requires a national leadership with the understanding and capability to set the tone and direction for national growth and development.
“Such leadership needs to galvanise all citizens, irrespective of ethnic, geopolitical or religious leaning for collective growth,” he said.
Simeon, then called on youths and other Nigerians to jettison violence and build a united front to surmount the many problems of the nation.
“I don’t see anything to celebrate at 62 other than the fact that we are still practicing democracy,” he added.
In his reactions, Dr Kunke Ashimi, the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), said that lack of proper planning remained the bane of development of Nigeria.
Ashimi explained that the situation was responsible for the poor state of the country’s health sector over the years.
“Nigeria’s health indices will continue to nosedive as long as there are no visionary planning and proper census.
“Until government stops seeing education and health as social services, the country will continue to witness lower health indices.
“These two sectors, which successive governments have continued to neglect, are the bedrock of our development.
“Government has to forecast the needs of its citizens to plan ahead.
“We must take our population census seriously so that we can plan.
“I remember in those days, people travelled down from Europe and Asia to the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, to access healthcare, but reverse is the case now.
“The reason is that our leaders could not see beyond those days, while other countries put the future in the foundation of what they were doing,” he said.
Ashimi decried the continuous Exodus of medical personnel from the country on daily basis, adding, “if something drastic was not done, the health sector may die a natural death”.
“If we must celebrate our 62nd independence anniversary, it must be low key, because there are no achievements to be celebrated,” he said.
NAN) The National Industrial Court,on Tuesday struck out a suit filed by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to compel the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off the ongoing strike.
The judge, Justice Polycarp Hamman in the ruling terminated further proceedings in the matter after it was withdrawn by the claimant, Umar Lawal.
From facts, Lawal had filed the suit which was mentioned on Sept.16, for himself and on behalf of NANS against the Minister of Education, ASUU and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
However, when the matter slated for hearing came up on Tuesday, Lawal notified the court that he had filed a motion for discontinuance.
He added that he premised his decision to withdraw the suit on account of the challenge by NANS which contested his position as its president in the affidavit he had deposed to.
After Lawal submitted his application, the court asked if Marshal Abubakar, counsel to ASUU had any objection, he informed the court that he was not opposed to Lawal’s application to withdraw the suit.
The other defendants were however, had no legal representation in court.
Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, a human resource expert, has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey the judgment of the National Industrial Court.
He also urged the union not to appeal the judgment and return to the classrooms in line with democratic process and as patriotic intellectuals.
Ibrahim, a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, made the appeal in a statement he issued in Abuja on Thursday.
He called on the Federal Government not to proceed further on the suit filed in the National Industrial Court but to withdraw the case.
According to him, government should also direct for the immediate payment of outstanding salaries of ASUU members for them to resume academic activities.
Ibrahim added that alternative dispute resolution mechanism could be used to resolve the lingering crisis.
“ASUU strike that has turned to national embarrassment, is avoidable if both parties had allowed patriotism to play dominant roles in the disagreement.
”He expressed satisfaction with the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari’s that he would hold more consultations in getting the ASUU crisis out of the way.
According to him, such a firm assurance gives a ray of hope that the crisis will soon be put behind us.
The human resource expert also appealed to the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) as stakeholders to avoid complicating the issue by making inflammable statements and organising protests as the matter was about being brought under control.
“I’m appealing to ASUU to call-off the strike and resume classes.
”He expressed optimism that the Federal Government would no doubt pay their outstanding salaries from March to September this year so that academic activities could resume without any inhibition.
He also called for resumption of negotiations immediately the strike is called-off.
According to him, Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism approach is better than litigation, as litigation has its own way of slowing down actions.
The Kwara Commissioner of Police, Mr Paul Odama, has advised the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Kwara chapter, against their planned shutting down of flight operations at Ilorin Airport.
A statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer in Kwara, SP Ajayi Okasanmi, on Monday in Ilorin said that Odama met with the student leaders on the need to set aside the planned protest and allow government and ASUU settle their differences amicably.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the students’ national body had directed all its members to shut down flight operations in the Airports in South West zone, including Ilorin International Airport.
This is in solidarity with members of ASUU who have been on strike since February.
According to the statement, the state police commissioner made it clear to the students that he was ready at all times to cooperate with them as well as expecting them to reciprocate.
He explained the dangers inherent in embarking on such economic damaging protest which could be hijacked by hoodlums, like it happened during the EndSars protest of 2020.The statement quoted the President of the students union, Mr Suleiman Yusuf Issa, in his response, reiterating his unalloyed support and admiration to the Kwara Police Command.
”He told the CP of the collaboration between the association and the police in the state and promised not to do anything that could jeopardise the cordial relationship and the fragile peace existing in the state.
”Issa explained that the directive to shut down the airports by NANS is only binding on the Zone D axis of the association which comprised States in the Southwest of the country, while Kwara state is in Zone C, comprising states in North central axis.
”He thanked the CP for inviting them for the parley, promising to cooperate with the command in a bid to making the command succeed in her onerous task of providing safety and security for the people and residents of Kwara state,” the statement read in part.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Osun, says it has cleared a gridlock on Gbongan -Ibadan expressway, due to the ongoing protest by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on such corridors.
The Sector Commander, Mr Paul Okpe, made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Osogbo.
Okpe said that his officers and unit commanders swung into action when the information got to him about the protest which had resulted to gridlock, preventing easy movement of vehicles.
He said that the blockade had been removed and that motorists plying the routes without any inconvenience.
According to him, the command’s unit commanders and other sister security agencies are presently at the scene of the protest to ensure there is no more gridlock and break down of law and order.
Okpe, however, said that the command would monitor the situation to ensure that there was no more blockage across Osun for easy vehicular movements.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Sept.13, led students within the South-West region to protest the long-running Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, which had lasted for six months.
NAN reports that the protesting students in their hundreds had earlier thronged the highway and blocked the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Shagamu Interchange on Tuesday.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday blocked the major Ibadan – Ile-Ife-Ilesa Expressway, leaving motorists and commuters stranded for for several hours.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this was in continuation of the association’s nationwide protest on major highways against the lingering face-off between the Federal Government and their lecturers.
NAN recalls that the students started the protest on Tuesday at the Sagamu interchange, blocking all roads leading to Lagos, Abeokuta and the Southern part of the country.
The agency recalls that ASUU had on Feb. 14, embarked on indefinite strike on the premise of inadequate funding of public universities, among other demands.
NAN, also reports that the blockage, which started at about 12.30 p.
m, left many motorists plying the road stranded with their passengers.
All entreaties to the aggrieved students by motorists and commuters, especially those going for one ceremony or the other did not yield any result as they refused bluntly to open the road.
Even, the presence of the security personnel, especially the police, Federal Road Safety Corps, could not help matter as the students insisted that they would not leave the road until their demands were met by the Federal Government.
The protesting students, armed with placards of various inscriptions, were chanting solidarity songs, saying that they were tired of staying at home and demanded an end to the strike.
One of their banners at the scene of protest.
Some of the protesting students chanting solidarity songs on highway.
Commenting, Emmanuel Olatunji Adegboyega, the South-West Coordinator of NANS, said the government should brace up as the students were tired of sitting idle at home.
Adegboyega said that the students would not relent until they go back to school.
He said: “We insist that government must fund education and not look down on children of the masses, because their own children are schooling abroad.
“We will continue to occupy the major roads live and better still, we will go to Abuja and ensure that we make our voices heard.
But, we will not stop until ASUU strike is called off.
” Also, Mr Abidemi Adeleke, the NANS Chairman in Oyo State, said that only the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fasola had responded to the students’ protest through the media.
According to Adeleke, Fasola described our protest as illegal, but he didn’t see non payment of lecturers’ salaries as illegal.
“We are not moved by whatever name our protest is tagged, all we want is to return back to the classrooms.
“We are live now at Gbongan Expressway.
Let them answer us and not tag our being on the highways as illegal, because we will not stop until we can go back to schools.
However, the NANS leadership later agreed to open the highway at exactly 3.00 p.
m, after pleadings from the stranded motorists and commuters.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Tuesday said its members in the nation’s tertiary institutions would continue to occupy major highways in protest against the ongoing nationwide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
They spoke one after the other at Sagamu interchange on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway during their protest against the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the students had on Tuesday morning blocked the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, protesting against the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
NAN reports that the students in their hundreds, demanded the immediate end to the strike, which had entered its seventh month.
The situation left many motorists plying the road stranded with their passengers.
All entreaties to the aggrieved students by motorists and commuters did not yield any result as NANS members insisted that they would not leave the road until their demands were met by the Federal Government.
Addressing journalists at the scene, Mr Afeez Akinteye, the National Vice-President, NANS External Affairs, said: “Our demand is not new; it is for the government to end the ASUU strike now.
“We have had enough of this.
We started the protest today; we will continue until the strike is called off.
“We don’t want to know how they will do it, because government has the money and the power.
“We are just interested in going back to the classrooms, they should fund education and end the ASUU strike.
“With the new leadership of NANS, it is not going to be business as usual,” Akinteye said.
He said the protest would be continuous, adding that students were ready to give it all it takes to go back to the classrooms.
“We have packed our loads from our homes and we are now ready for this struggle until the strike is called off.
“Over 500 of us from various universities nationwide are staging this protest, saying ‘End ASUU strike permanently,” Akinteye said.
Also, Mr Elvis Ekundina, the NANS Deputy Senate President, said that students would continue to block all the federal roads until the government resolve the issues with ASUU.
Ekundina said that quick action should be taken to enable the students to return to the classrooms, saying that they were most affected with the current faceoff between the Federal Government and ASUU.
Commenting, Mr Damilola Simeon, a NANS member, said that students were in support of proper funding of the nation’s educational sector.
Simeon appealed to the Federal Government to pay all the outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers.
”We are not in support of the policy of ‘No Work No Pay,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ahmed Umar, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ogun, told NAN that his men were on top of traffic management at the location.
“FRSC in Ogun wishes to inform the motoring public on the ongoing protest on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, around Sagamu interchange down to Makun City. “Motorists are advised to use alternative routes to avoid unnecessary delay base on the issue on ground.
“FRSC operatives and other sister organisations are fully on ground managing the situation,” he said.
Some of the motorists who spoke to NAN expressed displeasure over the situation, saying that the action had led to a heavy gridlock on the expressway.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Tuesday blocked the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in protest against continue closure of the nation’s universities over the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The students in their hundreds blocked the expressway at Sagamu interchange in Ogun, leading to gridlock on the ever busy road.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the situation left many motorists plying the road stranded with their passengers.
All entreaties to the aggrieved students by motorists and commuters did not yield any result as members insisted that they would not leave the road until their demands are met by the Federal Government.
NAN recalls that ASUU had on Feb. 14, embarked on indefinite strike on the premise of inadequate funding of public universities, among other demands.
The protesting students, armed with placards of various inscriptions, were chanting solidarity songs, saying that they were tired of staying at home and demanded an end to the strike.
They also insisted that the Federal Government should yield to the demands of their lecturers for them to call off the strike.
In his reactions, Mr Abidemi Adeleke, NANS Chairman, Oyo State chapter, said that the students’ action followed the unresolved impasse between the Federal Government and the university lecturers.
Adeleke said, “The protest was due to the lingering impasse between the Federal Government and ASUU, which had defied all solutions.
“We want the Federal Government to end ASUU strike permanently, that is why we are on the road protesting.
“This is just the tip of an iceberg.
We are just getting started.
“Today, we are live at Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, just after Sagamu Interchange.
“And, tomorrow, by the special grace of God, we will be at another location, next tomorrow the same thing, until our voice is heard,” Adeleke said.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for immediate resolution to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The newly elected President of NANS, Umar Faruq-Lawal, made the call in Abuja while addressing journalists on the development of the strike.
Faruq-Lawal called on ASUU to return to negotiation table and re-open public universities across the country.
He also announced that the association would protest against the eight months old strike, saying the labour crisis had brought untold hardship on the students, parents and the economy of Nigerians.
The newly elected president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Umar Faruq-Lawal with members of the association during a news conference on impasse.
The president also said that it introduced the ‘Academic Reforms struggle’ in honour of one of NANS’ late officials to generate discourse on educational development in the country.
“The only thing I will say is that ASUU and Federal Government should return to negotiation table and resolve all the issues amicably and reopen our campuses.
“It’s not the students that pay the salaries of the lecturers ,it’s the Federal Government so we don’t have capacity to advise government nor our lecturers, we can only insist that both of them return to negotiation table,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate President of NANS, Adediwura Adeshina, said the student leaders would hold a meeting to decide on the day to hold a protest.
“In the next 24hrs, the President of NANS will meet with legitimately elected SUG president of all campuses.
” And we will take decision on the date we will storm the Federal Ministry of Education.
” We are not going with thugs but students that have their I.
D cards,” he said.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe has congratulated the newly-elected President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr Usman Barambu, on his victory at the recent NANS convention.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Director-General of Press Affairs, Government House, Gombe, Mr Ismaila Misili, on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Barambu was the National President of Gombe State Students’ Association.
The governor said that he received the news of Barambu’s victory with delight.
According to him, Barambu is the first student from Gombe to be elected NANS president.
He described him as a passionate and hard-working young man and a unionist with track records of excellent performance and leadership qualities.
The governor urged the new NANS president to bring to bear his wealth of experience in repositioning the association for the good of Nigerian students.
Yahaya also urged him to continue to bring honour to Gombe, and assured him of the support, solidarity and goodwill of the government and people of the state.