Atiku Berates FG over ASUU Strike

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has berated the federal government over the continued strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), stating that he takes strong exception to the lecturers strike.

Atiku, who stated this at the International Youth Day seminar hosted by the PDP Youths in Abuja, said that if he is elected president by next general election that he will run an all inclusive government where the youths would be the main beneficiary and the issue of ASUU strike becoming a thing of the past.

Atiku described education as the fundamental rights of all youths that will not be disturbed by ASUU strike.

He said, “Now the most important and fundamental rights of any youth, whenever is the right to education. Therefore, I take very strong exception to the strike by ASUU and inability of the government to resolve that crisis.

“It will never happen under a PDP government or under my administration when I am elected.

“Do you know why I say that? I have been investing in education for the past 30 years. In nursery school I started primary, secondary, and university. We have never gone on strike for even one day. So, if me Atiku Abubakar can establish nursery primary, secondary school, university and yet no strike for one day, why should we have strike by university teachers?

“I want to pledge that I will work with university authorities and government to make sure we end this incessant strike by ASUU. This is because it is fundamental to your growth. It doesn’t matter whether you are in politics, whether you’re in business, in whatever sector you are. The fundamental right of every youth or every citizen is to be educated. 

“And therefore it is the responsibility of any responsible government to make sure that right is given to every Nigerian every youth in this country. I have the public pronouncement of my intention to have a youth inclusive government. 

“This is because it is our responsibility to provide you the opportunities to acquire the training and also the experience to take over from us, your parents just as the Chairman said. 

“So youth of this country. I believe that the PDP provides the best platform for you to actualise your individual, collective and national aspirations. I therefore call on the youths of Nigeria to join the PDP, to support the PDP, to return PDP to power so that we can rescue this country and make sure we rescue. We must make sure we rescue the most important segment of our population, that is the youth,” Atiku declared. 

Atiku also spoke of his childhood days where his father was sent to jail because his father refused to send him to school.

According to Atiku, “My father never wanted me to go to school. Eventually he was forced to let me go to school. And while in primary two, I decided to pay him a visit and he said you will never go back to that school. When school resumed, the clerk of the court came and arrested him and arrested me. 

“They took me to the school and they took him into prison. The following day he was taken before the judge and he was fined 10 shillings in those days. He said that he didn’t have any money. And my maternal grandmother, who was a small trader, paid the money, and he was released and said, ‘well, I put you to God’. I never saw him until he died. And my grandparents brought me up and let me finish primary school to secondary school and then to university,” Atiku stated.  

Also speaking, the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, said that there would be sufficient youth representation if the PDP wins the next presidential election.

The Minority Leader of House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, said that the PDP House caucus passed a vote of confidence on Ayu.

According to him, “those making the call don’t mean well for the party. We in the House of Representatives caucus of the PDP passed a vote of confidence on Ayu and members of the NWC. 

“What we should expect from all PDP members is to join hands with Ayu-led NWC to rebuild the party.

“There is no need to call for the dissolution of the NWC or the sack of Ayu as the national chairman. We are proud of them and we are with them.”

He urged the youths to vote massively for the PDP, as it is the only party, where they can realise their ambitions as the leaders of tomorrow, while lamenting how the APC government has ruined the economy and increased insecurity in the country.

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