The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on Nigerians to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to have mercy on students by meeting its demands to end the strike started November 5 last year.
The ASUU, in a statement yesterday signed by University of Ibadan (UI) Chairman, Dr. Deji Omole, described the call by the Labour Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige, on the union to have mercy on students and call off its strike “a merciless utterance.”
According to Omole, the statement by the minister exposed government’s insincerity and callousness to the wellbeing of Nigerian students.
ASUU said since government was a continuum, it was regrettable that Ngige could say previous governments caused the problem of the strike by signing 2009 agreements.
The ASUU boss, who noted that the present government has not shown mercy to education and health of the nation, said the union has a genuine concern to truncate the plans of the ruling capitalist to destroy the future of Nigerian youths by not funding education.
Education, he maintained, is an instrument of liberation, which will stop many youths from joining kidnapping gangs, armed robbery, militancy and terrorism.
He said: “We are patriots, otherwise we would not go on strike. We would have been looking and allow everything to be destroyed. But we cannot allow our future (children) to be taught in zoo-like conditions. This kind of education system cannot give us a leader who will be kind to others if we are not kind to them by giving them the best environment to learn from. Nigerians should join us to beg President Buhari to meet our demands on time rather using keep them talking approach.