The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on well meaning Nigerians to prevail on members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off their three months old strike in the interest of Nigerian students who are currently idling away.
The Union noted that it could no longer continue to tolerate the protracted strike which has perpetually made Students jobless and idle.
Addressing a news conference in Akure, the Ondo State capital, NANS National President, Comrade Yinka Gbadebo urged the striking lecturers to call off the strike in the interest of building intellectual capacity for National development which is sacrosanct to the future of the country.
Gbadebo who was flanked by the union’s National Financial Secretary, Comrade Timileyin Ayenuro, an indigene of Ondo State, said it has become imperative for the students to call on ASUU to reconsider its present adamant stand on the continued closure of the Universities.
He said,”We must as Nigerians accept that the problem with our Universities have developed over decades and would therefore be unimaginable that ASUU with its present stand want it totally resolved within a spate of four years that this agreement was signed.
“Objectively, ASUU is expected to expect that the demand for an unproved standard of education in Nigeria shall continue as long as our quest for development as a Nation remains on our investment in the Education sector.
“We hereby disagree with ASUU on the notion that a release of N400 billion per annum as been demanded will face out the mirage of problems confronting the education sector in Nigeria today.
‘While the Government in an unprecedented manner had shown responsibility and concern by releasing N100 billion for infrastructural development in our Universities including State owned, ASUU should reconsider their position”.
Gbadebo said the agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU is frivolous and self-serving to the interest of the striking lecturers alone.
He pointed out that it has become imperative for the Government and ASUU to understand the significant position of Nigerian Students before entering into any agreement.
He added, “While we may not want to go deep into other details of the Federal Government and ASUU agreement which are hitherto considered by us as frivolous and self-serving to the interest of ASUU alone, it is expected that ASUU must at this point bring to the fore the interest of Nigerian Students whom they have been claiming to be fighting for by engaging the Federal Government in further dialogue, while returning to class without hesitation.
” NANS is no longer comfortable with the attendant consequence of the incessant strike on the lives of Nigerian Students and social implication on the society at large.
“If cumulatively in the last 10 years we have lost 30months to strikes by ASUU which is enough to produce a graduate in our Universities, then the question is what have been the gains and the potency of strikes as a weapon when Students are always at the receiving end.
“We are now calling on every well meaning Nigerians to prevail on ASUU to resume negotiations with the Federal Government and reopen the Universities without any further delays.
We can no longer continue to tolerate this situation which has perpetually made us irrelevant at the point of arriving at these conclusions by ASUU and the Federal Government”.