Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to sheathe their swords, and end the ongoing strike.
On February 14, ASUU declared a one-month warning strike to protest Federal Government’s failure to implement its demands.
However, on March 14, the union extended the strike by eight weeks, on the grounds of government’s failure to fully address its demands.
Emmanuel, who made the call in a statement by his presidential campaign spokesman, Bola Bolawole, predicted the immediate fall of Nigeria’s university system, if the strike continues.
The Governor lamented that the inncessant ASUU strikes will have bad effect on the quality of graduates, and can even push youths into seeking alternatives abroad.
He appealed to both ASUU and the Federal Government to consider the interest of the students affected by the industrial action.
The statement read: “The discussions are already going on in some foreign countries where our people, especially our youths, run for greener pastures, to withdraw their recognition of university certificates from Nigeria. God forbid that this should happen! The all-round effects on our people are better imagined than felt.
“This, then, is my clarion call to both the FG and ASUU: Put on the thinking cap of statesmen and resolve this issue as quickly as possible in the interest of all
“Where necessary, sacrifices must be made on all sides. And as much as is humanly possible, agreements freely entered into must be respected and implemented.
“The records of ASUU strike actions in recent years are worrisome; close to four years have been lost to strike actions, whereas an average semester is made up of between 3 and 4 months!
“Just imagine how many semesters and whole academic sessions the university system has lost to ASUU strikes alone, not to talk of time lost to strike actions by other workers in the university system and student demonstrations!
“Enough is now enough! All the key players or gladiators should understand that what is going on is self-immolation. We all must stop cutting our nose to spite our face.
“Saving the university system from imminent collapse is a task that must be done. It is the duty of each and every one of us; not Government’s alone; and not ASUU’s alone. Everyone must stand up to be counted.
“I have added my voice! Add yours! Heeding this clarion call is the first step in the right direction.”
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