Laure: A Microcosm of the Lies in this Government
By Hashim Muhammad
POLITICS DIGEST- A trained mass communicator knows that he/she is not an attack dog of any politician. A trained mass communicator knows that corroborative facts, not negative labels are the requirements for promoting any idea. Even in crisis communication, a trained mass communicator knows that exploring lies is a no go area.
However, as with other bastardized social relations under this government, one Laure is currently on Facebook dishing out laughable, incoherent and primitive lies against Nigerian academics. From her takes, one isn’t amazed at how illiterate she is of the workings of universities, ASUU and members of ASUU. Though, to me she may not be blamed because attack dogs are normally set lose without clear insights of the intrigues they dabble into. A clear sign of her ignorance of the matter she dabbles into is her relying on (sic) the happenstance of the junior minister of education that “the government has addressed all ASUU concerns.” It isn’t surprising because even the man she relies for her facts has, time without number, proven to be ignorant of the happenings within the ministry he supposed to supervise. It is also not surprising that throughout the myriads of meetings between his ministry and ASUU, he’s never had a table to be with at the meetings. She is so ignorant about our universities that she doesn’t know currently the government she serves has raised a committee to interface with ASUU on what she lied that has been addressed. Between her and Nigerian academics, who’s a liar?
Also, another insight into her ignorance of the matter was the claim that “lecturers work in 4 universities with full salary.” Though attack dogs have no shame to fall back to, a little survey by her would have shown how mischievously incorrect she is. However, since propaganda isn’t about facts but easily believable sound bytes to sway public opinion, it’s proponents don’t shy away from being caught in culpable lies. The truth is that visiting lecturership and sabbaticals are global best practices of university system, Nigeria inclusive. Apart from sabbatical which is legally correct and demands for full pay of the academics in it, which is also once in every six years and can only be done by Senior Lecturers and above, visiting lecturership demands for a half pay of what the academic receives from his mother university.
Also, her deliberate ignorance was in full glare when she asserted that IPPIS is there to stop sabbaticals and visiting lecturership. For one, sabbatical is a legally allowed university tradition globally and in Nigeria. Does that means IPPIS is here to stop legal academic exercise and turn our universities into local elementary schools? It shouldn’t even be a surprise, may be that’s the intention of the government she serves since the children of the agents of this government aren’t in our public universities.
Another of her ignorance is not knowing that federal universities hardly and very rarely engage the services of visiting lecturership, though it is an acceptable university’s tradition globally and locally. The universities that require most of the services of visiting lecturership are the state universities (AKA: Tetfund universities), new constituency universities which the government she serves mandates older universities to mentor in terms of both academic and non academic staff, examination administration, etc and private universities. As such, both states and private universities don’t make use of IPPIS. So, how she manges to spew those lies should be a case for sociology scholars to unravel how people openly brag in ignorance. Is Laure saying the government she serves is wrong for asking older universities to mentor constituency universities to fruition? Is she aware that in her futile effort to malign Nigerian academics she’s also casting the government she serves as a confused government?
Further, in her basking of ignorance, the habitual liar claimed that Nigerian academics are greedy. Yet, she closed her eyes to the fact that those greedy academics have been on same salary scale since 2009 when presidential nomination form was below 25% of what her party is currently charging and her pay masters are currently paying from Nigeria’s collective assets. She has maliciously forgotten that even at that price, Nigerians, including academics had to pull resources together to pay for the campaign of president Buhari who in turn appoints her and she now turns to call us greedy. Nigerian academics are greedy yet her government is still paying them slavish wages to the extent that a Graduate Assistant’s salary of 2012 has more purchasing power of the salary of a professor under the government she whitewashes and insult academics on its behalf.
She claimed that UTAS, which same government she’s serving, mandated ASUU to bring forth is watery. Well, someone that’s ignorant of publicly available information should not be expected to be above illiterate in technical matters like UTAS. She’s ignorantly blind that Nigeria’s Auditor General under same government she serves has come out, time without number and proven how her darling IPPIS has been a conduit of syphoning billions of naira from the coffers of federal government. In her quick to insult Nigerian academics, she lacks the knowledge that NITDA subjected same IPPIS to the same test that UTAS was subjected to and it scored less than 30/100. Yet, her pay masters prefer it because of politico-economic interests. In her ignorance, a technical app that scored over 99/100 is watery. How majestically she is still brazenly spewing lies is a matter for another discussion.
Yet, the blame isn’t hers. The blame is on our system that allows someone who went and lied in front of our parliamentarians to still retain the seat she occupies. The blame is also on a boss that can’t put square pegs in square holes. The blame is on a boss that sees nothing wrong in assigning a role to someone who has neither training nor experience to execute the demands of the assigned role. The blame is also partly shared by one of the current aspirants to the seat of her paymaster who refused to logically execute his court case against her assassination of his character sometimes back. That’s why she has been spiralling into her abyss of use of insults and lies against all that she does not agree with.
That’s why the woman ignorantly thinks Nigeria starts and ends with the government she serves. That’s why she thinks insults and use of grey lies are the only ways to force intellectuals do the bidding of her paymaster. She is so because she’s not a trained mass communicator but has been assigned to be one. It is so because Laure is a microcosm of all the failures of this government.
Hashim Muhammad Suleiman, PhD writes from Zaria