The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has followed the latest development in the current national crisis, and reacts as follows.The case of the EFCC against Vice President Atiku Abubakar should not be dismissed just because the Vice President response to the Administrative Panel that indicated him will, if true, show that President Obasanjo has a case (or cases) to answer. At the same time, however. Vice President Atiku Abubakar allegations of corruption on the part of President Obasasnjo should not be ignored for the sake of the future of the country.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has followed the latest development in the current national crisis, and reacts as follows:
1. The case of the EFCC against Vice President Atiku Abubakar should not be dismissed just because the Vice President response to the Administrative Panel that indicated him will, if true, show that President Obasanjo has a case (or cases) to answer. At the same time, however,
2. Vice President Atiku Abubakar allegations of corruption on the part of President Obasasnjo should not be ignored for the sake of the future of the country.
3. Both cases should be determined through the forthright and rigorous application of the relevant provisions of Nigerian Constitution.
4. The Obasanjo-Atiku conflict should however, be understood in the contest of the general crisis spewed up by the 2003 elections. Organisations, including ASUU, and individuals have maintained that the 2003 elections, comprehensively fraudulent, could not be the basis for clean governance. In particular, our union, ASUU claimed: The political history of the regime in power at the center and the states, and the economic doctrines and policies that the government at the center has forced on us, are major causes of corruption. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, morally and politically compromised leaders determine who is accused and punished and who is not.
Corruption goes deep in the ruling class beyond Obasanjo and Atiku. It runs deep into the life and practice of the hierarchy of the political leadership in the country, including politicians who are lined up behind the president and his vice, beneficiaries of party patronage, friends, families and jobbers. The corrupt culture of the political leaders is an expression of structural corruption, corruption from the root of the economy and politics in Nigeria.
The root of corruption being entrenched in the needs of the political leadership and rulers for undeserved wealth and privileges, it is doubtful that this class can resolve the problem of corruption.
In the context of structural corruption and pervasive official/ruling class corruption, where poverty has deepened as a result of World Bank/IMF engineered reforms, where our rulers have the just and viable solution to the Niger Delta crisis, where politics is a tool of accumulation of wealth, with the use of assassination as a political weapon, the widespread distrust of INEC, the political fall-out from the failure of the 3rd term project, the inundation of the political field with groups, parties and individuals led by election riggers and proven rogues, the national crisis is deeper than the conflict between Obasanjo and Atiku. There is no solution to the national crisis from either side. Both cooperated in the conception, engineering and execution of the fraud called the 2003 elections.
It will be disastrous if a situation were to emerge in which confirmed rogues and election riggers are allowed to manipulate their ways into power.
It will be a gigantic set-back for our country if the crisis into which the ruling class has plunged our country is used as an excuse to call the military to seize power once again.
Such a call is a real possibility for forces which have never believed in democratic governance, but whose direct hold on power and loot is threatened.
The Labour Movement, Civil Society Organizations and professional organizations and genuine democratic organizations and individuals should immediately come together and act to prevent a hijack of the present crisis manufactured by and within our ruling class into another experience of military dictatorship, and into another seizure of power by proven looters of Nigeria treasury.
Dr. Abdullahi Sule-Kano
18th September, 2006