By Chinelo Obogo
Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), the umbrella body for over one million alumni of the 104 Federal Unity Schools in Nigeria, has said it will mobilise its members to embark on peaceful demonstrations across the country if insecurity persists.
The President General of Usosa, Lawrence Wilbert, said in a press conference at the weekend in Lagos said it is sad about the indifference of the Federal Government and other key
actors of state to the level of insecurity and the plight of victims and their families have made, saying the government has lost the will and capacity
to do anything meaningful about the insecurity crisis.
Among other demands, USOSA said the government mus enforce comprehensive security and atmosphere, stem and reverse the downward slide of the value of the naira and rejuvenate the economy.
The association said leaders at all levels in government must be made to “perform or resign, or be booted out and that if its demands for a more secure country and better economy are not met, it will mobilise its members for a peaceful demonstration across Nigeria.
“We are particularly unsettled, angered, by the series of wanton killing, kidnapping
and rape of thousands of innocent Nigerians by devious, blood-thirsty groups within and beyond our national boundaries.
“Sadly, the police, military and other security agencies, hit by years of poor funding, mediocre recruitment and training, and entrenched corruption, appear too
overstretched and overwhelmed to deal decisively with the challenge.
The gruesome killing and abduction of scores of staff and passengers of that Abuja-Kaduna
train on March 28, 2022 is for us an inglorious crossing of the absolute red line.
“This , coupled with the seemingly mindless indifference of the Federal Government and other key
actors of state to the incident and the plight of victims
and their families have made it crystal clear that the government has lost the will and capacity
to do anything meaningful about the crisis.
“Official corruption is at an all-time high, as the powers that be, consistently treat the ideals of
accountability, patriotism and national unity with utmost derision.
“The state of our education is abysmal at all levels. The recent report by UNICEF indicates that
70% of ten-year olds are not functional literate and numerate; this is not to talk about the sad
statistics of over 10 million out of school children across the nation. The insecurity has
dangerously affected our secondary education with unfortunate incidents in Buni Yadi,
Chibok, Birnin Yauri and a host of others across the nation still largely unsolved.
“Our tertiary institutions are not left out. They remain closed with Academic Staff Union of Universities
(ASUU) on strike. Do we intend to
grow as a country this way?
Manifold are the dire consequences of the current inept leadership and gross misgovernance
of the country, as the Nigerian masses are now helplessly beset not just with total insecurity
and official disregard for the sanctity of their lives and property, but with scant electricity
supply, zero water works, frustration-induced strike by university lecturers, unreliable health
services, pathetically high unemployment rate and abject poverty, increased occultism and
ritualism, food scarcity, a battered naira, hyper-inflation and skyrocketing prices of goods and
services, and generally debilitating standards and costs of living.
“Things are so bad that many
citizens yet to be gunned down by the armed enemies of the state are beginning to die of
hunger, starvation and easily treatable diseases.
Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari and other persons who supposedly avowed
themselves to serve us through the executive arm, as well as the National Assembly and much
of the Judiciary, to all intents and purposes, have not lived up to their official responsibilities.
“Their response have been very weak and ineffective given the current challenge being faced,
while working in cohort to solely serve their own interests at our expense.
“This sorry state of affairs has subsisted for too long. It has to stop now.
Enough is enough! It’s time for all well meaning Nigerians to rise to the occasion, say no the untold decadence, and insist on positive
action by the government to stem the rabid anarchy that is now festering in our land. As
responsible citizens, and leaders created for a time like this, we must call the government to
order and hold them accountable forthwith , lest they sound the final death knell on our
“Compounding the abysmal security situation is the fact that virtually all other aspects of our
national life are also in jeopardy and experiencing unprecedented decay. Therefore, USOSA, for and on behalf of ourselves and
the abandoned citizenry of this country, hereby demand the Federal Government to accomplish the following at distinctly significant levels: Enforce comprehensive security and atmosphere for peaceful living in this
country; Stem and reverse the downward slide of the value of the naira;
Rejuvenate the economy, especially the agricultural and industrial sectors;
Ensure full resumption of security-guaranteed academic activities in all schools
across the country; and Reinvent and refocus the anti-corruption fight without fear or favour.
“Should there be no significant compliance with these legitimate demands, our next step shall
be to mobilise all USOSA members and Nigerians to embark on peaceful protest marches demanding
We call on all rights advocacy groups, the labour unions, students, market women and all other Nigerians who
love this country to partner with us in this common fight for our lives. Let’s close ranks in
making this national sacrifice for the sake of our people and posterity.
“These are extraordinary times, and call for extraordinary action and
sacrifice by all. War, in the form of incompetent leadership and insecurity, has accosted the
Nigerian masses, and fight we must!
As leaders of our great coalition, we herewith re-echo the mandate to all our members, and
indeed all Nigerians, to ensure they are registered voters. Be
ready to vote and guard your vote for your choice for leadership of our country at all levels,” Wilbert said.
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