Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the federal government to apply its power to “hire and fire” any employee while dealing with the university lecturers over the declaration of indefinite strike.
It accused the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) of advertently promoting the private universities, where many of them currently work and have their wards.
NANS considered the decision by ASUU to declare indefinite strike after six months of warning industrial action as not only “unpatriotic and unnecessary, but wicked and definitely meant to collapse the public universities and promote private ones.”
The student union President, Sunday Asefon, stated these in a statement while reacting to ASUU declaration of indefinite strike last week to press for some pending demands for lecturers.
Asefon stated that such decision was easy for ASUU to take because many of their leaders don’t have their wards in public universities and that many lecturers are employees of various private universities across the country.
He lamented the alleged destructive disposition of ASUU members to the growth of public universities, accusing them of not wary of the imminent collapse of the system by their conduct.
According to him, “Some of them are not on in anyway affected by their attempt to collapse the sector for their selfish and inconsiderate gains. ASUU had succeeded initially to masquerade their strike as being in the interest of Nigeria and in the interest of the Nigerian students.
“Events of recent weeks have therefore made it abundantly clear that ASUU has an ulterior motive, which is to collapse university education system in Nigeria and systematically promote private universities where many of them have their children.
“The government must maintain its position as an employer and use its power to hire and fire effectively at this time to save our education system from the total collapse planned by ASUU.”
Asefon, therefore, called on the federal government to investigate the leadership of ASUU with the aim of unraveling their motivation for their insistence on collapsing the public university system in Nigeria.
“We call on state government to forthwith liaise with vice-chancellors of state institutions to announce the resumption of academic activities and grant the vice-chancellors the authority to enforce the resumption as state universities should never have joined the strike in the first place.
“We, therefore, plead with ASUU leadership in state institutions that had been so ridiculed and labeled quacks by the national president of ASUU to toe the path of honour and save their institutions from the verge of total collapse by calling off the strike,” he said.