The leadership of the National Association of Ondo State Students have observed with utter dismay on the recent issues plaguing the Nation and the lackadaisical attitude of the Government towards curbing the issues. First, the unending strike occasioned by the Academic Staff Union of Universities though timely, has its aftermath on students. These effect which are crystal clear to all and sundry ranges from increase in academic years, idleness and unproductivity and a room to create nuisance.
What strike actions have done over the years and will continue to do if not curbed, stopped or at least reduced to the minimum is that it will continue to increase the timespan students spend in schools. Without mincing words, strike actions have become the gravest threat to the Nigerian university system, in particular, and the Nigerian education sector in general. Strike paralyses everything about the education system.
Flowing from this, we also want to bring to the notice of all appropriate quarters on the recent happenings bedeviling our country. Starting from insecurity which has become a reoccurring decimal lately and we condemn all attacks orchestrated by misguided elements masquerading as terrorist/bandits. We have barely settled from the attack on the Airport couple of days ago when some agents of doom yet again struck at train conveying over 900 passengers along the Abuja-Kaduna railway. It is seriously appalling that the Federal Government together with the Ministry of Transportation failed woefully to install the surveillance equipment for effective monitoring of the rail tracks.
We have a government that is running on common wealth of the people, yet the masses are crying and dying of hunger. Unemployment, poverty and insecurity has now become an anthem in most households in Nigeria due to the failure of the government of the day to arrest the situation. Surviving in Nigeria has become a very tough job in the life of every Nigerian as life in the country is strongly shaped by many challenges. There is an increase in inflation and unemployment.
Recently, we witnessed importation of adulterated fuel into the country and a collapse of the National gird which led to blackout in major cities in the Country. The importation of adulterated fuel into the country led to skyrocketing of fuel prices which lasted for weeks, and in turn led to massive queues across the Country.
Standard of living of the average Nigerian continues to drop daily while the cost of living is at an all-time high. The depreciation in the value of the Naira has resulted in alarming hike in prices of many consumer goods, pushing more people into poverty. As of March, 2022, Nigeria had over 70 million people living in extreme and abject poverty.
We witnessed a destruction of the National Stadium after gate crashing out of the World Cup Qualifiers game in a 1-1 defeat to the Black Stars of Ghana. The sudden violence and destruction occurred not because of the love for violence but because of the frustration and loss of hope in the Nigerian State. As an Association, we condemn in the strongest terms the destruction of the National Stadium by angry football fans. However, we cannot overlook the place of frustration and hardship which has become unbearable for the average Nigerian.
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The fragile health sector is nothing to write home about currently. The sector is currently in jeopardy and disarray. Citizens now result to private medical centers for health care and this comes at a great cost which of course, only the well to do can afford. It is an open secret that the Nigerian elites prefer to go on medical tourism than revamping the health care system. It is shameful to state that part of the promises dished out to us by the Government in power to ban all forms of medical tourism has not been kept to.
Travelling on Nigerian roads have become a nightmare to citizens due to the increased rate of robbery, kidnaping and gruesome killings being carried out on highways.
At this juncture, we make bold to state that the Government of the day has lost touch of the Nigerian society. The Government is totally disconnected from her citizens. A government that promised to secure the lives and enhance the welfare of her citizens.
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The increased rate of idleness amongst Nigeria’s teeming population calls for serious alarm. Idleness at a time like this could spiral out of control and lead to something more damming. Recent activities perpetuated by these teeming population calls for serious alarm, internet fraudsters are on the prowl with their new trend being money rituals.
The foundation of every government is that the security and welfare of her citizens shall be of utmost importance which is not negotiable. We are therefore calling on the Federal Government to take charge of the situation. The Government must own up to its responsibility and ensure that the country is safe for her citizens to live in.
Mary I. OGUNGA
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ONDO STATE STUDENTS.