MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
Former Governor of Anambra State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 presidential hopeful, Mr. Peter Obi, has expressed worry over the apparent neglect of Nigerian University students idling away for months now, by the Federal Government, from the continued strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Speaking recently on Channels Television “Politics Today” programme, Obi said that it was unfair to the students and to the nation at large that most people were fixated on 2023 elections while the most critical assets (students) of the nation, are neglected.
“Our universities are closed for months and we, as political leaders, are not even talking about it, rather we are focused on 2023 elections. Our children are at home, at a time when education is the most critical asset of any nation. It is a very painful situation.
“It was agreed, as far back as 2010, that the university union will be given N1 trillion for the revitalisation of universities in Nigeria by the Federal Government. N100 billion was also agreed to be given to the union by the government to enable them clear off the backlog of their allowances,” Obi said.
The former Governor lamented that subsequent governments failed to honour the agreements, which, today, has resulted in incessant strike actions by ASUU, a situation, he said, was detrimental to the future of Nigeria.
“If the government was committed to paying the union, even if it’s N50 billion every year, by now N600 billion would have been paid off and this strike action would not be happening,” Obi remarked.
He stated that the job of a leader is to provide solutions to the challenges facing his people and not to trade blames.
“No leader can give you 100 per cent result, but a leader is expected to commit 100 per cent efforts in providing solutions to different problems,” he said.
He called on the government to take urgent steps and ensure that the strike action is ended and students return to schools, for the betterment of the nation.