SENIOR Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), on Wednesday, told the Federal Government to forget the idea of regulating social media and face the challenges of insecurity and infrastructural decay in the country Vanguard reports.
SSANU also renewed the call for the sack of the Service Chiefs and their replacement with vibrant officers with ideas on how to deal with the increasing wave of insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria.
This is as the non-teaching staff union has also told governors who are not ready to pay the new minimum wage to resign to save the citizenry from the agony of bad governance. Speaking at the 37th National Executive Council, NEC, meeting at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba – Akoko, Ondo State, the National President of SSANU, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, said that social media was the only opposition platform in the country, and warned that any attempt to regulate it was to gag the people from criticizing bad policies of government.
Ugwoke also commended the Federal Government for the closure of borders but also advised that it should be total in all the borders and not only the ones in the South. The SSANU boss supported the policy of the Federal Government for all categories of workers to be enrolled in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, alleging that those kicking against the policy have ulterior motives.
Taking a swipe at the government on the plan to regulate social media, Ugwoke said:
“It is because the government is not performing that is why it doesn’t want criticism and wants to gag Nigerians. “SSANU is against the control of social media, social media should be allowed to thrive so that we can talk. In fact, the only opposition party in this country is social media, every other party has gone underground and bought over. “So, we want social media; government should face the challenges of hunger, unemployment, infrastructural decay, kidnapping, the menace of bandits and road construction and leave social media.”
SSANU frowned at the recent policy of the military to be engaged in what it described as positive identification, wondering what the military that was confronted by insecurity had abandoned its responsibility to take up the function of the Immigration.
According to Ugwoke;
“In this country, many funny things are happening. Our military instead of checking the bandits and kidnappers, they are talking of the positive identification of Nigerians. Are they Immigration officers? That is not their responsibility. “Army should face the bandits. Nigeria is at war, we are not in a military government. All the Service Chiefs should leave office because they have failed,
“We have never had it bad like this before on insecurity. We have Boko Haram, we have bandits and kidnappers. In this budget, N878 billion budgeted for defense. Every year, the defence has among the biggest allocation, yet, from the social media we see our soldiers demonstrating before Boko Haram. “Lives are involved, our young people joining the army are being sacrificed, they are facing Boko Haram with more sophisticated equipment. Boko Haram is using drones against Nigerian soldiers and the soldiers cannot counter that. “We claim that our soldiers have gone to Darfur and other different international peacekeeping missions and yet we cannot defend our home against bandits.
“I heard the other day that the government is negotiating with bandits in Katsina State in the presence of military and police officers. These bandits are with AK-47 and Machine guns. It is very shameful.
“I think if somebody fails an exam, you have to review either the teacher or the instruments. The army chiefs have turned to politicians doing the bidding of political parties. The military is a professional assignment, it should not be for political gangsterism.
“We are appealing to the government to review the position of service chiefs, let vibrant and hard-working officers take over to save the lives of our young soldiers and also save this country from loss of lives.” On the minimum wage, Ugwoke thanked the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, the Trade Union Congress, TUC and the Joint Negotiation team that negotiated with the government on the consequential administration. He said,
“I am appealing that the Federal Government should release a paper on this and state governors that have started crying to stop crying. Any governor that is not ready to pay should leave the office. “It is not compulsory that he should be there. The way to pay is by reducing the cost of governance, all these their siren, convoy of Prado jeeps consuming fuel even with their wives and each commissioner with their own convey, increase the cost of governance.”
He appealed to the government to do something on the bad roads in the country, stressing that it was not only affecting the economy but also leads to avoidable loss of lives.