The planned regulation of social media may be a decoy to gag opposing views to government, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), has said.The academics posited that the Federal Government should dissipate more energy into tackling the myriads of insecurity challenges, which would help solve many social ills afflicting the country.
While restating its call for the sack of the Service Chiefs, the union declared that the thinking of those at the helm of authority has reached a menopausal level. SSANU said there are younger and more vibrant officers with ideas on how to deal with the increasing wave of insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria that should be given the opportunity to showcase their prowess.
This comes as the union urged governors that refuse to pay the new minimum wage and associated consequential adjustment to throw in the towel.
Speaking at the 37th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko, Ondo State, the National President of SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, said social media is the only opposition platform in the country that is vibrant. He warned that any attempt to regulate it is meant to gag the people from criticizing bad policies of the government.
However, Ugwoke commended the Federal Government for the closure of borders and urged the government to close all the land borders in the country.He also expressed the union’s support for the extension of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), to the university system, saying 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 the social media, government should face the challenges of hunger, unemployment, infrastructural decay, kidnapping, menace of bandits and road construction and leave social media.”SSANU also flayed positive identification policy, wondering why the military would abandon its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the country, and would rather perform internal security responsibilities.He added: “In this country, many funny things are happening. Our military, instead of checking the bandits and kidnappers, they are talking of 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 so bad like this before on insecurity. We have Boko Haram, and equally have bandits and kidnappers. In this budget, N878 billion budgeted for defence. Every year, the defence has among the biggest allocation, yet, from the social media we see our soldiers demonstrating before Boko Haram.
On the minimum wage, Ugwoke lauded leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Joint Negotiation team that negotiated with the government on the consequential adjustment.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 office.“It is not compulsory that all of them should be there. The way to pay is by reducing the cost of governance, all these siren, convoy of Prado jeeps consuming fuel even with their wives, and each commissioners with their own convoy, increase the cost of governance,” he stated.