Recently, I chanced on a senior lecturer who just came back from Imo state for the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress. He was my lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt during my undergraduate days and we grew closer when I enrolled for a higher degree in the institution which has been delayed by the lingering strike by Academic Staff Union of the Universities.

Seeing how happy he was looking, I asked him if he and other lecturers went to protest over the lingering ASUU strike in Owerri to at least draw the attention of the Federal government, especially the president to the issue? He stared at me like I was mad.

I was waiting, patiently, for him to justify his visit to Owerri but he made a fast diversion “You are looking fat ọ. You dy chop your money” and we talked about other issues.

Last year, a month before the ASUU strike, I had an exchange with a professor in my post-graduate class. It had to do with strikes where I had posited that ASUU of recent, embarks on strikes mainly for earned allowances using the deplorable state of the Universities as bargaining chips and after each strike, ASUU members buy new cars and build new houses but the classrooms remain relatively unchanged.

Presenting my case, I argued that the time is ripe for Nigerian University lecturers to look for alternative methods of getting the recalcitrant government to do their bidding without periodically shutting down the universities in protest against the government. First is leading the struggle for decentralisation of the system, and or radicalising the students.

That argument didn’t end well for me.

We are in dire straits as a nation, and the evidences are all over the place. The country is sinking deeper into irrelevance as days turn into weeks.

Four months after the universities have been shut, why are there no protests over the lingering strike? Why does the president go about campaigning freely without meeting angry students or lecturers who want to return to the classrooms?

Where is the glory of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, and its powers to mobilize forces against the government?

I told someone that the unconstitutional action of president Mohammadu Buhari to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen will be forgotten like the ASUU strike soon.

Reason for which is because the lawyers have corrupted the politicians, standing by them to justify each of their illegal actions just like university professors are complicit in the rot of university education in Nigeria.

Or didn’t you see the discordant tunes that followed the CJN’s suspension from no other than lawyers and the fact that the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, the umbrella body of lawyers gave a directive for Judicial officers to shun the courts and it was largely ignored with people like Femi Falana accusing NBA of hypocrisy?

But who blames Buhari for his illegal actions? He has an Attorney General, a Vice and a minister who are SANs but they told him nothing. The same Buhari was at NBA’s conference last year and in his speech, said he was going to tamper with the rule of law and no other but the lawyers gave him resounding applause.

In December, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students was at Aso Rock where he promised to mobilize 20 million votes for the President’s re-election bid. The same NANS president was at the October 7th 2018 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium in Rivers State.

I have never seen an institution in Nigeria that has not been destroyed by politics. None. The Nigerian Labour Congress cannot embark on strikes any more because they have been infiltrated. I remember vividly the days of Adams Oshiomhole and how he was a torn in the flesh of the president, Olusegun Obasanjo. The same Oshiomhole became a governor and we are still searching for his achievements. Perhaps, we would be able to see the bones of his sterling achievements in Sahara Desert if we are lucky. The same Oshiomhole is the National Chairman of a party that is toying with the approval of 30 000 Naira as national minimum wage. The freedom fighters of yesterday have joined in the looting of the country today.

What we have achieved in our short Democratic dispensation is that politics has permeated all our institutions, thereby reducing them to piecemeal for the birds which in turn has left no form of checks and balances.

The politicians first seized the religious Houses and forced clerics to dish out political endorsements in exchange for monetary and political favours. This has ensured that the business of religion remains largely untaxed.

They then moved into socio-cultural and ethnic groups and coerced them to dish out political endorsements. Today, what we have are cultural groups that trivialise and justify killings, murder, corrupt practices and every form of vice against the citizens.

The media is worse hit. When one watches sunrise daily on Channels Television, and even Kakaaki on AIT, you will understand that our situation is perhaps going to get worse and not better.

Almost all the TV stations in Nigeria are owned by politicians and shows are tailored in a way that will not be too critical of the political establishment.

The political class cornered everything. That is why those who get in don’t dream of coming out.