THE Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, has traced the spate of kidnappings and banditry in the country to deteriorating state of the nation’s highways, which have become death traps.
In a statement Tuesday, the National President of SSANU, Mr Samson Ugwoke stated that, “we have transversed the country and have seen the nature of the roads, we have also seen why it is easy to kidnap people on the highway, it is because of the bad roads that we have.”
According to him, there is only only way out, the Federal Government should fix the roads, as one of the ways to address the carnage and crimes on the nation’s highways.
Ugwoke, who urged the Federal Government to blacklist companies that carry out substandard road projects, found it curious that military and Police check points and recently the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) check points, “are at the bad portions of the roads, So you must slow down, when you slow down you are under arrest.”
He stated: “Government should also not give weak companies that are not able to do good jobs anymore work. Many of the roads are less than five years they were constructed but they have broken down.
“We have good companies with good records. Let us use such companies to do good roads that can last in Nigeria.
“We have lost so many lives on the highway due to accidents. These casualties are avoidable because if the roads are fixed it could reduce accidents.”
Waiting for Senate
UGWOKE disclosed that the Union was still waiting to meet with the Senate President Ahmed Lawan to deliberate on the challenges facing the non teaching staff unions.
Describing as unsavory, a situation “where the money meant for the entire university staff was carted away in a manner that shows that some of us are not supposed to be part of the university system,” he disclosed that “the Academic Staff Union took 80 per cent of the money, leaving a paltry 20 per cent to the non teaching staff unions in the university.”
SSANU called a meeting for 12th July at the Labour House, Lagos and the resolutions were passed to the government.
Following a national protest in all the campuses of universities, the issue was raised as matters of urgent importance in the Senate and the House of Reps.
He said: “The senate set up a committee to meet with the non-teaching staff to ensure that the non teaching staff did not proceed on the planned industrial action. The House of Representatives did the same thing.
“Two days after, we received a letter from the President of the Senate inviting us for a meeting on Monday, July 22 in his chambers.
“As we were still meeting, preparing our documents, we heard about the protest by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. We thought we could break through, but Police stopped us at the three arms zone, by then there was smoke everywhere, we could not proceed for the meeting with the Senate.”
Meanwhile, the Union is waiting for the President of the Senate to console the meeting.
“The letter was acknowledged, but we are standing by; we are waiting as we are expecting invitation any time and we must answer.”