The threat by National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, to shut down private universities in the country over the lingering strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been faulted by President and Vice Chancellor (VC) of Babcock Private University in Nigeria, Prof. James Makinde, who has appealed to the students to have a rethink.
Makinde, who warned that the threat if carried out has the potential to negatively affect the educational sector, made the plea at a Press Conference in Akure, the Ondo State Capital, shortly after the Western Union of Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Nigeria elected its new leaders.
The VC noted that though private and public tertiary institutions serve the same purposes, the rules guiding both were different.
According to Prof. Makinde, the constitution of Nigeria permits any individual or group to establish schools, students in private institutions do not belong to NANS.
Information Nigeria recalled that NANS, at a rally recently in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to protest the over two months strike action that has kept students of government owned varsities at home, threatened to shut down all private universities in the country to show its frustration with the face-off between the Federal Government and ASUU.
But the Babcock Vice Chancellor in his reaction said, “it is highly ridiculous because I have never seen in Nigeria that because NITEL is owned by the government, and shut down, Nigerians will begin to call for the closure of MTN, Glo, Airtel or others owned by the private sector. For this, I don’t know why students will now embark on a protest to shut down private universities because ASUU is on strike.
“We are not against the action of the ASUU and we also feel for the students and, that is why we are appealing to the government to find a lasting solution to this issue of strike. But we insist that shutting down of private universities is not the best option to end the issue of strike in Nigerian tertiary institutions”, he stated.