The Northern Governors’ Forum has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to cooperate with the Federal Government to end the ongoing strike.
The governors spoke after a meeting with the Northern Traditional Rulers Council on Monday in Abuja.
A statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to Plateau State Governor, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, on behalf of the forum’s chairman, Governor Simon Lalong, said the ASUU strike was punitive for most students from the region who were attending public universities.
Also, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has urged the ASUU chapter at the state university in Keffi to pull out of the union’s strike.
This, it said, is in the interest of the poor masses and the overall development of the state.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Daniel Ogazi, made the appeal yesterday in Lafia, the state capital, at a meeting with officials of ASUU and the state university.
Ogazi (APC Kokona East), who is the Deputy Majority Leader, said the state government and the House were committed to making the university attain international standard.
“We call this meeting to appeal to you to suspend the ASUU strike and resume work in the interest of poor students and the state at large.
“…Governor Abdullahi Sule and the House, under the leadership of Speaker Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi are committed to making the university among the best in the country.
“We are proritising the university because it is one of the industries we are proud of in the state…”
Also, students, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), yesterday blocked the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at the Shagamu Interchange while protesting the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The protesters said they would return to the spot
In a statement on the protest scene by NANS Coordinator in the Southwest, Adegboye Emmanuel and the association’s National Public Relations Officer (PRO), Giwa Temitope, the students said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had not fulfilled its promises to revamp the Education sector.
“There is no point arguing about who is at fault or what is to be done. It is very clear that the rulers underfund education and the Buhari government is failing in its promises to revamp education.
“As it is today, no higher institution in Nigeria is world-class. Yet, our so-called public servants travel all over the world, spending billions, to send their kids abroad for studies.
“As major stakeholders in the Educational sector, we are the ones who can save ourselves. We have monitored the yearnings of students from campus to campus through their social media platforms and in their public writings. Students all over Nigeria stand with ASUU.
“Our lecturers suffer the same hardships and mal-developments we suffer. The staff houses are as bad as the students’ hostels. In South Africa, a professor’s laboratory is far more equipped than that of any university in Nigeria.
“History has been killed and undermined. So, we, the youths, do not know where we are coming from, not to talk of knowing where we are headed. But we will not lament anymore.
“The new leadership of NANS is here to work with students to achieve our set aims and objectives. We believe that the students’ movement has its place in history. It is a task that we vow to fulfill. We will never let Nigerian students down.”
The students’ body restated its disappointment in the Federal Government and its solidarity with ASUU.
It said: “We call on ASUU leadership for a meeting as soon as possible to discuss solidarity actions and plan for the next phase of the struggles.
“We pass a vote of no confidence in both Ministers of Labour and Education. We call for the proper funding of the Educational sector as against what has been attainable in the past seven years. We call on the Buhari government to pay all outstanding arrears and salaries of the lecturers. The policy of ‘No Work, No Pay’ is a fascist one. It’s, therefore, condemnable and not acceptable to all the millions of students in Nigeria.”
Also, NANS Southwest Zone D’s Coordinator Stephen Tegbe has said the protest was meant to make the Federal Government resolve the ongoing strike.
Speaking with The Nation, Tegbe said: “The union is asking for what is logical. Why take ASUU to court? Government should answer them, instead of spending money on irrelevant projects.
“Our major concern right now is that we want to go back to school. If care is not taken, we will restrict movement on that road. The protest continues tomorrow at the same location, unless government takes a decision now.”