President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, lampooned the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, for being adamant and not calling off the lingering strike, saying enough is enough of keeping students at home.
President Buhari, who said he hoped ASUU will sympathise with the people, advised the university lecturers not to hurt the next generation.
The President stated this when he received some governours of the All Progressives Congress (APC), legislators and political leaders at his residence in Daura, Katsina State.
He called on ASUU to reconsider its position on the prolonged strike, expressing worry that the hiatus will have generational consequences on families, the educational system and the future development of the country.
The President said the strike had already taken a toll on the psychology of parents, students and other stakeholders, throwing up many moral issues that are already begging for attention.
He noted that the future of the country rests on the quality of educational institutions and education while assuring that the government understands their position, and negotiations should continue, with students in lecture halls.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying, “We hope that ASUU will sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike.
“Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake.”
The President called on all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly those close to the leaders and members of the association, to intervene in persuading the lecturers to reconsider their position and the ripple effect on an entire generation and the nation.
He said students from Nigerian universities will be faced with the challenge of competing with others in a highly connected and technology-driven workspace, and that keeping them at home only deprives them of time, skill and opportunities to be relevant on the global stage.
According to him, “Colonial type education was geared towards producing workers in government. Those jobs are no longer there.
“Our young people should get education to prepare them for self-employment. Now education is for the sake of education.
“Through technology, we are much more efficient. We should encourage our children to get an education, not only to look for government jobs.”
President Buhari said resources should be channelled more into building infrastructure and operations of the health and educational sector, not to expand the bureaucracy to create job opportunities.