The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has lamented the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying the Federal Government must engage in collaborative negotiations with the aggrieved lecturers.
Recall that the striking lecturers on Monday, August 29, 2022, declared an indefinite strike action after six months of industrial action across public universities.
The strike is in protest against the government’s failure to release revitalisation funds for universities, failure to release the white paper report of the visitation panel to universities and the failure to deploy the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of salaries and allowances of lecturers.
Reacting to the ongoing strike in a tweet on his Twitter handle on Wednesday, monitored by Headlinenews.news Correspondent, the LP presidential candidate said universities have been closed for six months.
He said, “Our position is that the ASUU strike has lingered for far too long. It is unconscionable, worrisome and unacceptable that FGN would allow such an industrial action to become almost intractable to the detriment of our students.
“It’s time for FGN to engage in collaborative negotiations with ASUU, and in good faith.”
He lamented what he described as a ‘staggering corruption’ level in Nigeria, adding that the country has also been polarised along religious and ethnic lines.
He wrote, “Nigeria is vastly polarized and wracked by deep divisions along religious, ethnic and regional lines. There is a staggering level of corruption. Our universities have remained closed for six months.
“While our healthcare system remains almost moribund, power generation and distribution are also at an all-time low.”
Meanwhile, Headlinenews.news reported that The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly summoned Pro-Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, and Chairmen of councils of all Federal Universities to a compulsory interactive meeting scheduled on September 5, 2022.
In circular titled INDUSTRIAL ACTION BY UNIVERSITY-BASED UNIONS: INVITATION TO A SPECIAL INTERACTIVE MEETING WITH THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF EDUCATION reads; As the Pro-Chancellors and Chairman of Councils and the Vice-Chancellors are quite aware, the industrial action by University-based Unions has led to the closure of the institutions since February 2022.
“You are also aware that the non-teaching Unions have suspended their industrial actions with effect from 24 August 2022, while a final decision is being awaited by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“It has become necessary for the Governing Councils and the Managements of the Universities to be briefed on the decisions and actions taken by the federal government so far, to allow for a well-coordinated review of the station, including building consensus around according to actions.
“Consequently, I am to invite the Pro-Chancellors & Chairmen of Councils as well as ViceChancellors of Federal Universities to a special interactive meeting with the HonourableMinister of Education (HME).”