September 24, 2022

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ASUU: Enough is enough, Buhari tells striking lecturers

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has, on Monday, bemoaned the action of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities for not calling off its industrial action, saying enough is enough for keeping students at home.

He said this on Monday in Daura, Katsina State, when he received some governors of the All Progressives Congress, legislators, and other political leaders at his residence.

The PUNCH reports the ASUU strike has entered its fifth month, with resumption not in sight as the lecturers are yet to shift grounds on their demands.

Buhari urged the lecturers to reconsider their stance on the prolonged strike, noting that the crisis would have generational consequences on families, the educational system, and the future development of the country.

The President said the strike was taking a toll on the psychology of parents, students, and other stakeholders.

He noted that the future of the country was resting on the quality of educational institutions and education. While assuring that the government understood the union’s position, he urged that negotiations should continue while students return to classes.

A statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted him as saying, “We hope that ASUU will sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike. Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake.”

Buhari asked all well-meaning Nigerians, especially those close to the leaders and members of the union, to wade in on the matter and persuade the lecturers to resume.

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The President noted that students from Nigerian universities would experience challenges competing with counterparts in a highly connected and technology-driven workspace, and keeping them at home only deprived them of time, skill, and opportunities to be relevant on the global stage.

He said, “Colonial type education was geared towards producing workers in government. Those jobs are no longer there. Our young people should get education to prepare them for self-employment. Now education is for the sake of education.

“Through technology, we are much more efficient. We should encourage our children to get education, not only to look for government jobs.”

“By this time next year, I would have made the most out of the two terms, and in the remaining months I will do my best.”

“If you are greedy, you won’t look around to see what is happening with those who are less endowed,’’ he added.

The President also told the governors and political leaders that the reason he had not been to his home in Daura for a long time was because of his work as the President.

“The observation that I abandoned my base was made by the Emir of Daura, Dr. Faruk Faruk, at the Eid prayer ground. He held the microphone and told everyone that the last time I was in Daura was during the Eid-el-Kabir of 2021.

“In 10 to 11 months, I will come here. I have a better house in Kaduna, but it is too close to Abuja,’’ he said.

The President explained that the schedule of work was much, saying he recently had to sympathise with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, who had to be away most of the time from his family.

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He admonished the APC stalwarts to keep working for the good of the people and the country, saying “we are a lucky people, and we need to reflect more on where we are coming from.

“I wish the person who is coming after me the very best.”