• Say Politicking For 2023 Election While Students Idle Away At Home Dangerous
• Lampoon Ngige, Nwajiuba Over Presidential Bids
• ‘Enough Is Enough’
There is palpable anger in the country amid preparations for the 2023 general election following the failure of the Federal Government to reach a truce with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and ensure that undergraduates affected by the ongoing strike by the union are recalled to continue their studies.
Findings by The Guardian showed that students, parents and other stakeholders were wondering how the government could afford to allow the students to remain at home as a result of its disagreement with ASUU and be comfortable with its preparations for the elections.
They particularly took a swipe at the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, and the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, over their 2023 presidential bids amid the strike.
They wondered how either of the two could be trusted with overseeing the welfare of the country as president when they could not address the problem of incessant ASUU strikes that have left university education in the country in quandary.
Recall that ASUU and other unions in Federal Government-owned universities have been on strike for over two months following the failure of the government to implement various agreements reached with them. ASUU had particularly embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14, this year. The strike was extended at its expiration following the alleged failure of the government to address the contentious issues.
At the centre of the disagreement is the alleged poor implementation of the re-negotiated 2009 agreement with the union and the government’s insistence on paying the workers through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) instead of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which the union developed and recommended for the purpose. Although negotiations have been ongoing since then, a truce was yet to be reached.
Perturbed by the situation, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) last Thursday issued a 21-dy ultimatum to the government to address the demands of the union or it would declare a three-day warning strike, a move which may get the backing of many students and parents.