President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions within and outside the university system to always give peace a chance and embrace dialogue during industrial disputes.
Buhari gave the plea at the grand finale of the 36th convocation ceremony of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
He was represented by Ignatius Onimawu, a professor at the National University Commission (NUC).
“No one gains from the crisis. While government alone cannot solve all challenges facing society, this administration is willing to listen to complaints and alternative points of view to managing a situation.
“The university system cannot withstand any crisis now, considering the time it had lost to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said
Buhari also asked universities to help the country find answers to the COVID-19 pandemic through extensive research.
“While I expect us to abide by all the protocols given out by health authorities on COVID-19, our universities have a role to play in the efforts at combating it in the interest of the nation and humanity.
“I expect our universities to conduct researches targeted at discovering an antidote to it. Universities are expected to focus their research attention on the challenges facing our societies and find practical solutions within the context of national development.
“I, therefore, challenge the universities to give their best in the fight against this common and unrelenting enemy of humanity. I enjoin our researchers to collaborate among themselves and look forward to bringing an effective solution to this medical challenge. The nation expects your university to play a leading role in the research efforts.”
Unilorin Vice-Chancellor Sulyman Abdulkareem said that 10,922 students graduated during the 2019/2020 academic session, out of which 180 bagged first class.