The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday, asked Nigerians to ensure that all political office holders having hand in the prolonged and ongoing strike embarked upon by the union are voted out in the 2023 general elections.
It urged undergraduates, who are affected by the lingering industrial action, to see their predicament as a sacrifice for their children and grandchildren.
The union said that Nigerian political leaders lack feelings for average Nigerians and the nation’s education sector because their children and family school abroad.
President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, stated these after attending a special congress of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife chapter of ASUU held at First Bank Lecture Theatre.
Osodeke said the Federal Government was yet to respond to all the issues the union tabled before it, adding that the nation’s university education was fastly collapsing.
He said: “As of now, we can’t identify what has been achieved because the government has not responded to virtually all the issues that we have talked about but the essence of what we have done is that we have mobilised the Nigerian people to know that this present set of leaders has no feelings for the Nigerian people, students and the country. That is why they are looking down on the education system, allowing the universities to be shut down for almost six months without a response. Such will never happen in any other country in the world.
“My advice to the students is that for any country to develop, people must make sacrifices and that’s what they are doing. You just agree that the Nigerian university system has collapsed or at the verge of collapsing, if not for ASUU and its present struggle. If by this strike universities are well-funded, students will live in good hostels, and stay in classrooms where they will not have to hang around windows when having lectures or sitting on a bare floor. So, it’s a struggle, not just for themselves, but also for future generations.”
The ASUU President expressed worry that the Federal Government could attend to the plight of the aviation sector when it threatened to go on strike because that’s the only means of transportation for politicians and public office holders.
On the ASUU OAU chapter crisis where a faction had emerged, he said: “We have said a number of things here (Congress) and the good thing is that we now have a new vice chancellor that loves this (OAU) university. From my interactions with him, he loves this university and also raised the issue of not having division here. So, we do hope that with him around, we will resolve all the issues so that OAU will come back to how it was in the past as one of the leading campuses of the ASUU. I know with the commitment that this new vice chancellor has shown within the few days he has spent, we will resolve the issues once and for all.”