Lafia - A former Minister of Defence, Dr Shettima Mustapha, has pleaded with ASUU to go back to work to avoid a collapse of the university system in the country.
Mustapha made the call in an interview with newsmen on Monday after attending the 37th annual conference of the Genetic Society of Nigeria, held in Lafia, where he delivered a keynote address.
Mustapha, who was minister of defence during the administration of late President Umaru Yar'Adua, was also one of the founding fathers of the Genetic Society of Nigeria.
He said that President Goodluck Jonathan himself had literarily begged the lecturers to go back to work and so did many Nigerians, who had been begging the lecturers to end their strike.
“All I am saying is that it has reached a stage where the president said 'please go back'. What I am saying is that since my president said 'go back' I will also say go back,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that ASUU embarked on its latest strike on July 1, citing the Federal Government’s inability to honour the agreement it reached with ASUU in 2009.
The elder statesman, who is a stakeholder in the agriculture sector, also criticised the country’s high reliance on crude oil which he said, had adversely affected the growth of agriculture in the country.
“We have been using this oil for the last 50 years but see where we have ended up. If we had developed agriculture in the past 50 years, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” he said.