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Failure to resolve ASUU strike means taking sides with Boko Haram, HURIWA tells FG


Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has carpeted the Federal Government over its deliberate failure to reach a consensus and a final determination concerning the lingering industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

HURIWA said the unwillingness of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to resolve its differences with the striking lecturers means that the central government has adopted the ideology of ‘Boko Haram’ which forbids citizens to pursue academic and western education.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the Federal Government is grossly irresponsible and wickedly insensitive to the plight of millions of youths wasting away at home only because the Children of President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, governors, ministers and national legislators are all schooling overseas or in the few exotic and expensive private universities that aren’t on strike like the publicly funded universities.

Meanwhile, millions of children of the wretched of the earth and the hoipolloi are enlisted and have been forced to idle away at home for 5 months now.

To make matters worse, ASUU has extended the strike further by 4 weeks of excruciating idle stay at homes.

According to the group, the FG’s side led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; have demonstrated irresponsibility through the extension of the month-long strike, even as the rights group carpeted the president for happily sending all his children to some of the best universities in London.

However, his administration has decided to play up the ideology of Boko Haram by not attending with honesty to the issues that have come up in the negotiations between the Government and the starving members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The Rights group said whereas the striking teachers are desirous of ending the strike, the politicians are so callously irresponsible to attend to these issues.

It could be recalled that ASUU had on February 14 embarked on industrial action to press home its demands including the payment of about N1 trillion Revitalisation Fund and Earned Academic Allowances.

ASUU had subsequently extended the strike a few times with the latest four-week extension announced on Monday, days after the Nigeria Labour Congress held a nationwide solitary strike with ASUU on July 26 and 27.

President Buhari, on July 19, gave the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, two weeks to resolve the ongoing ASUU strike but even at the expiration of the ultimatum, the minister and the Buhari regime have not been able to reach a truce with the striking lecturers for students to return to class.

Reacting, Onwubiko said: “The four-week extension by ASUU on August 1, 2022, is a bad new month gift to Nigerian parents and students who have been shut out of the classroom since February 14, 2022.

“These students who should be in class studying assiduously are now busy watching Big Brother Naija unproductively and idling away on social media and follow Big Brother Naija principally because of idleness.

“Whilst ASUU strike has been ongoing, security situations have escalated in the last six months as terrorists, bandits, fraudsters, ritualists, prostitutes, amongst others, had recruited impressionable hands from the vast pool of idle university youths.”

HURIWA condemned in totality, the fresh strike by ASUU based on FG’s lackadaisical attitude and lack of commitment to end the stalemated negotiations whilst government officials’ children study abroad.

It said the government should be ashamed and threatened to drag FG to court should the government fail to end the strike before the end of the month.

“We are seeking the support of good statesmen and women so we Institute a case in the Federal High Court to compel President Buhari to end the vicious ideology of Boko Haram and immediately open the public universities,” he added.

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