Olusegun Bamgbose, Esq, National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG, has pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to call off the ongoing strike.
Bamgbose said it was quite unfortunate and highly regrettable that the Federal Government has not been able to amicably resolve issues leading to the ASUU strike.
The senior lawyer wondered why the President Muhammadu Buhari led government failed to effectively utilize the COVID-19 break to quickly resolve issues.
Though the Federal Government had issued a directive for tertiary institutions to reopen on Monday, ASUU, in a swift reaction, said its members will remain at home pending an agreement with the government.
ASUU said its lecturers were owed salaries, ranging from three to eight months while accusing the federal government of non- remittance of 5 months dues of the union to its purse.
Bamgbose, in a chat with Newspot on Tuesday, said “One cannot but agree with Professor Ayo Akinwole, ASUU Chairman of the University of Ibadan, that there is an evil conspiracy among the ruling elites to wipe out public university education in Nigeria, which caters for more than 90% of Nigerian students.
“This, he alleged, was done to elevate private universities owned by the elites and their collaborators. This is not far from the truth. It’s obvious that the present administration does not really value education.
“I will, however, passionately urge ASUU and SSANU to suspend their strike for the sake of posterity. They should consider the trauma and depression our undergraduate students are passing through.
“Some of the students may not even return for classes, because of their parents’ inability to cope with the school fees and other attendant payments, as a result of the COVID-19 saga.
“ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, should consider the plight of the students and parents who are most affected by the strike. Buhari has absolutely nothing to lose or worry about, even if the strike persists for 24 months.
“This is equally true of the Education Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Labour Minister, Ngige. The future of our youths and their welfare should be considered and prioritised.
“Some of them are already taking to crimes as a result of frustration and depression. ASUU should please endure this administration. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.
“There is hope in 2023. Let me humbly state here that, my Presidency won’t allow the Union to go on strike for one day, as all their demands will be met.
“Those who value education know that it’s the best legacy the nation can bequeath to her citizens. By His grace, I’ll ensure education is given priority in the scheme of things.”