By Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) has implored the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end her six months old industrial action in the interest of millions of Nigerian students.
National president of ASATU, Chief Barr Titus Nnabuike Akpudo, who made the appeal in Awka, said the strike embarked upon in February this year, has done more harm than good to the nation especially youths whose academic pursuits have been truncated by the FG-ASUU impasse.
Akpudo said millions of Nigerian youths have been compulsorily made to remain redundant against their wish which he saw as an infringement on their rights to uninterrupted and unhindered educational pursuits, adding that the continuous stay of the students at home was not in the best interest of the country instead it would escalate crime and criminality.
The ASATU national president who noted that education is the bedrock of national development, maintained that the prolonged strike has exposed many young Nigerians to so many delinquent attitudes and antisocial activities inimical to their dreams and aspirations.
He was of the opinion that education should be accorded priority attention and that viable lasting solutions should be proffered to the incessant strikes rocking public universities in the country to enable the sector to function effectively and churn out graduates that would be useful and instrumental to nation building.
Akpudo stated that the striking lecturers were not exempted from the excruciating pains and agonizing experiences of the strike, following the declaration of no work no pay by the federal government. He said while students were at home constituting public nuisance, lecturers whom he said were equally parents were facing hard times taking care of their families as they have not received salaries for a very long time.
He said there was need for the federal government and ASUU to temper justice with mercy and have an amicable resolution to the impasse so that students can resume academic activities again in the interest of all and sundry.
Akpudo said ASATU joined her voice with other well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to intervene in the matter and ask both parties to reopen the universities for academic activities as the continuous delay in reopening the schools is not a good omen. That FG and ASUU should consider the blight cast on Nigerian students due to the strike which he said seemed to have no end in sight.