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Strike: Enough Is Enough, Buhari Tells ASUU


President Muhammadu Buhari urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to reconsider their position on its prolonged strike, expressing concerns on the generational consequences for families, the educational system and the country’s future development.

This is as the Presidency has given reasons it has been difficult to end the ongoing industrial action by ASUU which commenced since February 14.

A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, yesterday, quoted President Buharu lamenting how the strike had taken a toll on the psychology of parents, students and other stakeholders, throwing up many moral issues that beg for attention.

Buhari said enough is enough on the lecturers’ strike as the future of the country rests on the quality of its educational institutions.

The president made the appeal when he received some governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), legislators and political leaders at his Daura, Katsina State residence, yesterday.

“We hope that ASUU will sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike. Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake,” he said.

The president urged all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly those close to the ASUU’s leaders and members to intervene in persuading the lecturers to reconsider their position even as he assured that the government understood their position and that negotiations should continue, with students in lecture halls.

He stated that students from Nigerian universities will face the challenge of competing with others in a highly connected and technologically driven work environment, and that keeping them at home only deprived them of time, skills and opportunities to be relevant on the global stage.

“Colonial type education was geared towards producing workers in government. Those jobs are no longer there. Our young people should get education to prepare them for self-employment. Now education is for the sake of education. Through technology we are much more efficient. We should encourage our children to get education, not only to look for government jobs.”

Buhari said resources should be channeled more into building infrastructure and operations of the health and educational sector, not to expand the bureaucracy to create job opportunities.

In a related development, Shehu, who speak on a live television programme, monitored in Lagos, yesterday, buck-passed the inability to end the protracted strike to the incompetence of the then administration in 2009 that reached an agreement with ASUU that was not feasible to fulfil.

He also said that it was not right for the lecturers to continue to insist on government meeting all its grievances.

On Buhari’s message to members of the union to go back to the classroom, warning that enough is enough, he said: “The president has a right to appeal on behalf of Nigerians for ASUU to back to work. Don’t forget that the problem started by the then 2009 government which incompetently signed into agreement which they had no capacity to deliver upon and they have passed it on from one government to another.

“So we should ask the question of what happened in the past with the administrations. That is our worry. There are also other sectors of the economy that are yearning for attention. The Military needs weapons. The resources available to the government have to go round.”



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