The striking university lecturers in the country have advised President Muhammadu Buhari to take action by implementing the latest Memorandum of Agreement and the Memorandum of Action as well as the renegotiated agreement between them and the Federal Government rather than to continue to lament their prolonged industrial action.

They said it was only evidence-based action that addresses their concerns that could make them call off their ongoing five-month-old strike.

The lecturers under their umbrella body, the Academic Staff Union of Universities( ASUU) gave this position in a reaction to a media report credited to President Buhari when some state governors visited him in Daura, Katsina State on Monday, asking the striking lecturers to go back to class citing the huge adverse consequences of the prolonged strike on students and the country future as reasons for his call.

The Lagos Zone coordinator of ASUU, Dr Adelaja Olukoya, who gave the position in a statement  said this latest comment by President Buhari on their strike is comical and his call to ASUU to go back to class without doing the needful, is laughable.

He said ASUU, in the first instance, would not have embarked on strike if not for what he described as crass insensitivity, ineptitude and indifference of the government to the fate of Nigeria’s public university system under President Buhari’s watch.

He said for the fact that it is not only ASUU that is on strike at the moment but all other unions such as non-academic staff union in the nation’s public university system and other tertiary educational levels in the country are also on strike for similar reasons as ASUU, “belied and exposed the ridiculous disposition and propaganda to paint ASUU black in the face of the Nigerian public.”

He said it is the action of the president and members of his cabinet by not showing serious concern let alone rise up to resolve once and for all the contentious issues between the government and ASUU and other unions by extension for all these years that should be blamed for the strike and its consequences.

Olukoya, who teaches at the University of Lagos, Akoka, said it is disheartening that while Nigerian public university students remain at home, the president and his cronies are lavishing valuable time and resources on what he called partisan political activities, family egoistic ceremonies and global junketing.

He said for the President to even just wake up and use the occasion of Eid Al  Adha celebration that calls for utmost and supreme sacrifices to speak on the ASUU strike that had been on for many months and now trading blames rather than to sacrifice by taking action that will end the strike as a patriotic leader, is tantamount to lack of understanding of the enormity of the crisis.

He said the strike for the first instance should not have lasted beyond one week should the government take public education seriously as all the issues at stake “were neither new nor do they require rocket science to resolve.”

According to him, all contentious issues are in our MOUs, MOAs and the latest renegotiated agreement as contained in the Nimi Briggs Report that had been submitted to the Minister of Education since last month now but your government has continued to neglect let alone implement them.

“So, this latest public lamentation by the president without addressing the matter in concrete term is a mere wishful thinking that can not resolve the decadence in our universities nor stop ASUU struggle for the repositioning of our public universities,” he stressed

He said ASUU had resolved to continue with the strike notwithstanding nonpayment of members’ salaries since five months ago and what he called blackmail until issues such as IPPIS, payment of outstanding allowances, stop the proliferation of public universities and proper funding of public universities among others are addressed in concrete terms and not only on mere public lamentation.

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