SPEAKER of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has apologised following the criticism he received for sharing photos of himself attending a leadership course at Harvard University in the United States.
Gbajabiamila posted photos of himself receiving lectures at the university on Tuesday, while members of the Nigeria Labour Congress staged solidarity rallies nationwide in support of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over unresolved issues with the Federal Government that has led to the shutdown of public universities for more than five months.
The Speaker who was accused of being indifferent to the plight of Nigerian students currently unable to attend school due to the face-off between lecturers and the Federal Government, has admitted his tweets were insensitive.
“Yesterday, I posted a picture of myself at the @Harvard @Kennedy_School, undergoing a course. That post was not sensitive to the present feelings of fellow citizens, especially parents and students who are presently bearing the brunt of the ongoing closure of public universities owing to the unresolved issues between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“I apologise for the post at this time, and I hope you will understand that it was not my intention to cause disaffection. As Speaker of @HouseNGR, I have made multiple interventions within the powers of the legislature to avert the ongoing strike.
“The House of Representatives is still keenly involved in seeking a resolution to the issues so our students can return to school. We all await the outcome of the 2-week ultimatum given for the conclusion of negotiations with ASUU,” Gbajabiamila said.
He stressed he had long been a champion of public education in Nigeria, and have consistently advocated programs, policies and investments to improve the quality of learning in the country.
“In keeping with my passion for education, I regularly take time to teach in some public secondary schools across the country,” the Speaker added.