The president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Emmanuel Osodeke has reacted to the two-week ultimatum given by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the ongoing strike by lecturers in public universities in the country.
ASUU Adamant To End Strike
KanyiDaily recalls that ASUU had embarked on a warning strike since February 14, over the failure of the federal government to meet its demands.
Amid the strike, the government and the union have held a series of meetings, but no agreement has been reached by both sides on ending the strike.
On Tuesday, Buhari directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to resolve the prolonged ASUU strike and report back to him in two weeks time.
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television, Prof Osodeke said the two-week ultimatum is “too long”, stressing that the ASUU can suspend its strike in less than two days if the federal government honours its agreement with the union.
He added that the ASUU strike would have been addressed within two days if the children of all the ministers and senators attend public universities in the country.
Osodeke said, “Two weeks is too long. The issue of renegotiation has been completed by both sides, which means that one is gone. They should just come back to us and say ‘we have agreed, sign it’. That should not take two days.
“If you have a crisis in your house, you will source for money to resolve that crisis — the way they are sourcing for money to do all kinds of things.
“We were told they spent billions to feed children in schools. Is that correct? How many children have you seen being fed. They released N200 billion for entrepreneurship programme.
“Your universities are closed for five months, you did not release N100 billion, but you released money to share in villages because election is coming. It is the priority you place on education.
“Government should prioritise education as number one priority in the country, because all of us here, wherever you are, you must pass through the school. Now that you have killed it, we are wasting our money on foreign countries.
“Last year, according to CBN, Nigerians spent N1.6 trillion as school fees to other countries. N1.6 trillion will turn around all the universities in Nigeria and bring them to standard and people will come from outside. We go outside; nobody comes in.
“For this strike, universities are shut down. Those who run the affairs of Nigeria – national assembly and executive arm – they do not have any problem. Their children are not here. If the children of all the ministers and senators are all in our public universities, this will not last two days.
“When the aviation people wanted to shut down, the national assembly called them immediately and settled them overnight because fear could not allow them pass through roads. They quickly resolved it.”\
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said it would embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 over the ongoing ASUU strike.