Abuja - Eduwatch Consult and Research Centre, Abuja, has urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve the ongoing strike in the interest of the nation.
The educational group’s national coordinator, Abayomi Ogunnowo, said at a news conference on Monday in Abuja that the two parties should sheath their swords.
Ogunnowo appealed to the government and lecturers to return to the negotiating table with an open mind and commitment to forestalling a collapse of the education sector.
According to him, since government has shown commitment to ending the strike by releasing N130 billion into the system, ASUU should reciprocate by shifting ground.
“Without doubts, strike has done more harm than good to Nigeria and its people.”
“While it remains a potent tool for drawing government and other corporation’s attention to the welfare conditions of workers the world over, it appears we see it as tool for slowing down development.”
“We cannot continue in this direction, we urge the Federal Government and ASUU to resolve the ongoing strike in order to prevent university students from taking to vices,” he said.
ASUU should make some sacrifices based on what the Federal Government had offered.
Also speaking, a senior lecturer with Eduwatch, Benjamin Ganaku, said, “The fastest way to destroy a nation is to have its education system compromised.”
Ganaku said the two parties were putting Nigerians in a dicey situation, and urged them to use wisdom in resolving the protracted crisis.
In a related development, a group of more than 200 market women on Monday in Abuja held a peaceful protest over the ASUU strike.
The protesters, who went to the Federal Ministry of Education to register their grievances, were received by the permanent secretary, MacJohn Nwaobiala.
The protest was coordinated by the President of National Association of Market Women, Felicia Sani.
Sani said striking lecturers were making outrageous demands on the Federal Government, adding that the union’s agitation was politically-motivated.
She urged ASUU to address the challenging issues within the academic system, and put the interest of Nigeria first.
Nwaobiala, however, assured the protesting women that the strike would be suspended soon.
“The concern of the market women is not a surprise in view of their position as mothers to the students who have been with them at home for nearly four months now.”
The permanent secretary, who urged the women to be patient with the government and to calm their wards, expressed the optimism that the issues would be resolved soon.