NIGERIA – Dr. Emeka Nwosu, a former Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to ex-Senate President, Evan Enwerem, has cried out to the President Muhammadu Buhari government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities to end the ongoing strike by the lecturers.
Nwosu, a former House of Representatives aspirant, noted that the strike has lingered because the politicians have their children either studying in private institutions in the country or abroad.
“You know what happened during the lockdown. Most of the students in private institutions were having their lessons and lectures online. Some even did their graduations online,” he said on Tuesday.
He described the situation as a sad and an unfortunate one, calling on ASUU to be more flexible with its demands while the government should also prepare to meet.
The former Special Adviser to Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives said the situation is totally unacceptable, pointing out that students in public universities have already lost a year to the ongoing strike.
“I’ll start by making full disclosure because I have four of my students in universities. So you can see where I’m coming from, ” he continued.
“The truth of the matter is that this whole thing is becoming totally unacceptable. It is unacceptable because we just came out from lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 and we expected that whatever be the problem should have been resolved so that as soon as the children came out of lockdown they should have been able to go back to school. But what are we getting?
“It is totally sad. The truth of the matter is that they have already lost a year. All the students in public universities whether states or federal level, one year is gone. Apart from those who are in private institutions.”
Nwosu, who is also a former National President, National Association of Political Correspondents, added that “it is unfortunately. It shows our own commitment or lack of it to important issue like education.
“No matter whatever is at stake, the government by now aught to have resolved the matter.
“They aught to have broken the deadlock if they are concerned about the future because education is all about the future. There’s no society that can make progress without education.
“Once you are putting education down, you’re putting the whole society down. The people in charge of this country aught to know.
“You know what happened during the lockdown, most of the students in private institutions were having their lessons and lectures online. Some even did their graduations online. But for how long shall we continue to have this kind of situation?
“Now somebody can go in for a four-year programme but by six years, you are still in the system because of one strike or the other and most of the time over the same issue. So we sympathize with the situation on campus because some of us are somehow affiliated with the university system.
“Yes, there’s a problem in terms of institutional decay but these things cannot be sorted in one day.
“The truth of the matter is that the lecturers have a point with their demands but the government has so many issues competing for the scarce resources such as health, poverty, agriculture, aviation, etc.
“You cannot put all in education alone. Right now, I think the blame goes to the two sides (ASUU and FG). Government should be able to meet them halfway and the lecturers should be able to understand that it’s not the universities alone.
“We have the polytechnics and colleges of education. ASUU cannot continue to hold everybody to ransom and government should demonstrate good faith by at least meeting these people halfway. “