A renowned socio-political activist and critic, Otunba Adesunbo Onitiri, has advised the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to resolve the matter between the Federal Government and university lecturers immediately or resign as the minister without delay.
In a statement in Lagos, yesterday, Onitiri said Adamu must be told the truth that he cannot continue to remain in office while Nigeria’s university education is being messed up with lecturers on indefinite strike for months and the government unconcerned.
The social critic recalled that last year alone, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on strike for over eight months, while millions of Nigerian students stayed at home doing nothing.
This year again, the ASUU had started another round of indefinite strikes, thus ruining and jeopardizing the future education of our youths.
The ASUU has said if the government could release N200b to the universities, its members would go back to the classrooms immediately to begin lectures.
Onitiri asked: “How much is N200b to the government that could earmark N4tr for oil subsidy? In a saner clime, the Minister of Education would have resigned or been sacked by the government for non-performance.
He pointed out that if Adamu’s children were attending Nigerian universities, he would be concerned about their education.
Onitiri regretted that because of ASUU’s strike, many university students have taken to crime because idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
He called on the FG to as a matter of urgency, find solutions to the problem with ASUU, so that the students could go back to the classrooms to continue their studies, while newly admitted students resume their academic pursuits.
Onitiri said the money being demanded by the ASUU was too infinitesimal to the amount of money being wasted by government officials for frivolities and reckless spending.
He called on all well-meaning Nigerians, especially religious leaders, civil societies, and labour organizations to wade into the face-off between ASUU and the government to resolve it once and for all.
“Nigerians should not continue to watch unconcerned while the future of our youths is being destroyed and messed up by the Federal Government,” Onitiri stated.
The socio-political activist, who sounded a note of warning to the government, said: “All the higher institutions are on strike and compulsory vacation. Now that our national elections are around the corner, we cannot afford to have our youths idle. They will provide easy bodyguards to our devilish politicians.”