By Kevwe Ebireri
The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ayo Oritsejafor has called on the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to “shift grounds” in order to bring an end to the lingering strike that has crippled academic activities in all public universities of the country.
“The federal government must shift grounds, but ASUU must also shift grounds. And we are ready to midwife a solution if they will let us. Its possible,” he declared.
Delivering a message at the 53rd Independence Anniversary Interdenominational Service held in Abuja, Oritsejafor also criticised plans by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, as well as the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, to shutdown public polytechnics, secondary and primary schools.
“I hear some other people say they will go on strike, is it a jolly, jolly, jolly thing? Don’t you care about this country?” he queried.
On the issue of insecurity, he commended the vigilante youths known as Civilian JTF for what he described as a “bold step” in tackling terrorism in Borno State and urged government and stakeholders to complement these efforts.
“I thank God for the Civilian JTF in Borno State. That is a bold step for those young men. But our leaders and the elite must go beyond that, especially in the north. We must stop turning terrorism issues to political issues,” he said.
On his part, President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack on on the College of Agriculture in Yobe State early Sunday morning, in which 21 students were gruesomely murdered.
He called for Nigerians to work with the government in ensuring peace and stability, while expressing hope that this phase of crisis will soon be over.
“No Boko Haram or any group can frustrate this country. By God’s grace, we’ll get to where we want to go as a nation. The challenges we are seeing now are transient. We’ll surely get over it,” Jonathan said.
The service was attended by members of the National Assembly, ministers, governors, deputy governors, ambassadors and other dignitaries.
Prayers were also rendered for good governance, peace and unity of the country.