The national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, has said the warning strike embarked upon by the union on February 14, would soon be truncated.
The ASUU national president stated this yesterday while speaking on the Human Rights Radio, producers of the popular national radio/TV programme, Brekete Family Show.
He blamed the minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, for politicising the strike which has failed to yield positive results.
“When this thing started, the minister of labour took over the control of this process and politicised it, looking for press conferences but I can assure you on this issue now, presently the minister of education is handling it and we are making some good progress.
“I hope it continues this way and within a short time, God helping, and if there are no third parties, we believe that this thing will be resolved very soon.”
Meanwhile, Osodeke has pleaded with Nigerian students to continue to support the union in the struggle to improve the university system in the country.
He, therefore, urged them to vote against politicians whose children are not in Nigerian universities and do not have their medical files in Nigerian hospitals.
“For these students who are struggling with us, I have been seeing their struggle in recent times, which is quite good.
“I want to appreciate you, I want to tell you that what you are doing is for prosperity, the suffering you’re passing through you are doing it for prosperity so that in future when you sit down in a classroom, when your children sit down in classroom, they will sit there with children of ministers, children of governors, the children of president, the children of president of other countries.
“In those days you don’t know the difference between the child of a driver and that of the president in a classroom, but all those things are missing, they have sent all their own abroad using our resources, we want all those things to come back to how it was.
“That is how we are struggling. So that when you are like me in future you will say that during our time we struggle to bring our university to a standard that all of us are attending, that is why we are struggling.
“I know is hard but know that you are struggling for your children, your grandchildren and for others who will come after you to ensure that Nigerian universities compete with any university in the world, that they have universal students and university infrastructure, that is why this struggle is on and we must all struggle together to ensure that the political class bring their children back to Nigerian universities.
“Our challenge in this election is that any politician whose Children are not in Nigerian university should not be voted for, any politician who does not have his medical file in a Nigerian hospital should not be voted for, those are the two things we should do in this forthcoming election.”
He further said the Union’s major problem with the government is not the fund but lack of commitment. “If the government wants to resolve this issue before the end of this week it can do so.”
Speaking on the issue of Joint Admissions And Matriculations Board (JAMB), collecting money from students while universities remained closed, he said the Board’s power needs to be reduced.
“JAMB is the one admitting, universities have lost it completely. Rather than universities doing admission it is done by JAMB and all they want is to recover money and charge all sorts of things, now returning money to federation accounts.
“Should the money collected from students as JAMB fee be a source of revenue for Nigeria as a country? Is that right? There is a need to look at JAMB law to remove all this power from JAMB, remove this money collection from JAMB and let every university admit their students and monitor them by NUC which is the regulatory body.
“Nigeria needs to grow up and look at what the world is doing, there is no country in the world where you have JAMB, made up of non-academics admitting students for all the Universities in the country,” he added.
LEADERSHIP earlier reported that the human right radio campaigner, Ahmed Isah, popularly known as the Ordinary President, has commenced fundraising campaign to help the government raise 18million for ASUU within a period of two weeks.
Isah, who stated that he has only nine days remaining to fulfil the promise, said ASUU will be appearing on the show Saturday to discuss more on the issue.