PRESIDENT of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Emmanuel Osodeke on Wednesday advised Nigerian students against voting for politicians whose children are studying outside the country.
Osodeke gave the advise while speaking during a Twitter Space Webinar titled: ‘ASUU strike, Revitalisation Fund and the Way Forward’, hosted by an online media platform, Premium Times.
Responding to questions, the ASUU President advised students against voting candidates who would not advance their interests.
Osodeke said, “Anybody you believe cannot take care of your interests, whose children are busy studying abroad, who are living abroad, don’t vote for them, I repeat, you don’t need to vote for them, because you don’t vote for people who will take your life.
“Education is about life. A governor was saying education is not for everybody and then we saw his son graduating outside (abroad) with governors around. I will repeat it, the Nigerian students should hold their PVC.
“Anybody who will not look at their interests, who, in his campaign, will not show that he’s going to improve the Nigerian educational system, they should vote them out.”
On Tuesday, a meeting between the lecturers and the Federal Government to consider the suspension of the strike ended in a deadlock.
The meeting took place at the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja.
ASUU embarked on a 30-day warning strike on February 14 over the Federal Government’s failure to honour a signed memorandum.
The union is demanding the implementation of an agreement the Federal Government signed with it in 2009.
Other demands include: Deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS); Payment of outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA); Release of an agreed sum of money for revitalising public universities (federal and state), among others.
On August 8, 2022, The ICIR reported that the ASUU strike has clocked 180 days.
According to the report, the ASUU strike has led to the shutting down of the nation’s public universities for 15 months between March 23, 2020, and August 12, 2022.
ASUU President Osodeke said since the current strike began, the Federal Government had not paid the lecturers.
The former Minister of State for Education Emeka Nwajiuba had urged the Federal Government to withhold the lecturers’ salaries during the period of the strike.
The ICIR also reported that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) demanded the dismissal of the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, following the expiration of the ultimatum given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the strike.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also threw its weight behind the striking lecturers and embarked on a nationwide protest.
The protest, held on July 26 and 27, took place in Lagos, Abuja and some other states.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: email@example.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M