NLC: No Going Back on Strike until FG Accedes to ASUU’s Demands
• Lawmakers promise to resolve issue soon, to meet with relevant ministers
Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that there would be no going back on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike until the federal government accedes to the demands of the university lecturers.
Speaking at the National Assembly complex in Abuja Wednesday, during a solidarity protest with ASUU, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said that the about N1.6 trillion spent by the elite to send their children to school outside the country, is enough to revamp education in the country.
Nigerian workers, across the country had on Tuesday, commenced the nationwide protest, warning the federal government to accede to the demands of ASUU in order for the academic union to reopen Nigerian universities that have been closed down for over five months.
Policemen, personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) maintained security around the parliament’s complex over the ongoing protest.
Those who led the protest included the NLC President, Wabba; AAC presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore; former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani; and ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, among others.
The NLC President said Nigerian university lecturers are the poorest paid in Africa, which has led to a massive exodus of the best brains of the country to other countries.
While demanding that the federal government should resolve the issue quickly with ASUU, Wabba urged the state Assemblies to adopt the autonomy of local government as approved by their federal counterparts during the constitution review.
On his part, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Sunday Asefon, lamented that there had been several promises made to resolve the issue but none had been kept.
Addressing the aggrieved workers, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who was represented by Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Robert Borrofice, assured Labour that the National Assembly would work hard to ensure the issue is resolved.
Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Hon. Mohammad Wudil, promised to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are brought together as soon as possible to address the problem.
Wudil said the parliament is the last bus stop of the common man, adding that it will meet with the ministers of finance, labour and employment, education and other stakeholders to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Gbajabiamila is currently abroad for a leadership course in Harvard University.