23rd April, 2019
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan
Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has reacted to the proposed Muhammadu Buhari University to be established by Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, describing it as one of a disaster to befall the nation.
The Union alleged that the plan of the wife of the President to establish a private university confirmed why her husband had continued to reduce budgetary allocation to education since he assumed office in 2015.
ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan, UI, Professor Deji Omole and former National Treasurer of the Union, Professor Ademola Aremu shared this thought while speaking with some newsmen in Ibadan.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari had over the weekend at a Townhall meeting in Yola announced her plan to establish a private university to be named after President Buhari in partnership with some foreigners.
According to the duo, the leadership of the country under Buhari should immortalise himself by revatalising public funded education.
Omole noted that “When I also heard about the proposed private university to be named after Mr President, I just looked at it as a joke taken too far. If we have a president in a country that has simply refused to fund public education and all we get from the family of the first lady is to establish a private university in collaboration with some foreigners, to me I think it is a disaster for this country and for a sitting president.
“The implication is that Nigerians should know that this leadership does not believe in public funded education. Nigerians should support the struggle for the government to take education as a core investment upon which this country will be liberated. It is not the children of the rich that will solve the problems of Nigeria but the children of the poor and the tool they need is quality education.”
Speaking further, Aremu advised the wife of the President to influence policies of her husband to immortalise himself by revitalising public funded education.
“I don’t think that she is serious. We already have proliferation of universities and they are not taken care of. Since they are police makers, they will now formulate policies that will ground public universities aground for their interest to thrive. I thought we have actually left that era. I could remember that Obasanjo established Bells and we condemned it. Atiku established his own as Former Vice President.
“If you have private interest, you should not hold public office. If you have interest in anything private, I think it is proper to actually leave the public space for those who want to eager to serve the masses. How many people can afford the existing private universities existing in the country? If you want to help education, then increase the capacity of the existing ones. When you are holding a public office, don’t establish a private concern. She should wait until Buhari is completely out of office before thinking of bringing a private university in whatever name.”