Senate President, David Mark, Sunday pleaded with the religious leaders across the country to quickly intervene in the crisis rocking the nation’s education sector, as strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) enters its third month.
Addressing the second plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in Otukpo, Benue State yesterday, Mark said the differences between the federal government and ASUU required spiritual intervention in order to end the imbroglio.
Mark lamented the plight of the students, who have been deprived of a stable academic calender and the consequences of the strike, pointed out that “the culture of confrontation and conflict does not build harmony between and among people, therefore, we must always seek the culture of dialogue, reconciliation and forgiveness. We have a duty to work hard to overcome all barriers to peace.”
On the issue of insecurity in the country, the Senate President stated that the state of insecurity in the country was worrisome, considering the high number of innocent Nigerians who die everyday as a result of bombing, armed robbery, road accident, pagan ritual activities and cultism.
He charged Nigerians not to use religion for negative purposes, stressing that “religion is to unite and not to divide, to love and not to hate, to gather and not to scatter, to be just and not to be unjust.”
Mark also frowned at provocative utterances by some highly placed people that were capable of tearing down the society saying such utterances should be curtailed.
He, however, admonished that the present religious, economic and political turmoil should not scare anybody, adding that: “as Nigerians, we should remain resolute and focused. As a people, we should continue to fast and pray. I acknowledge the fact that prayer without good work is dead. We should also embark on serious good work at all levels to ensure good governance and a better Nigeria.”
Mark, who expressed optimism that Nigerians were capable of overcoming the challenges, said this could only be achieved if we work together and see ourselves as one people bound by a common mission and purpose.