Stop weaponizing strike, govt tells ASUU

President Muhammadu Buhari, and some other eminent Nigerians yesterday urged all trade associations and workers’ unions in tertiary institutions to stop using strikes as their bargaining chip.

Some of these people are the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III; and a former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

They all agreed that it is more honorable for such unions, particularly the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to use the negotiation table to make their demands.

The trio spoke yesterday at the 74th Foundation Day/convocation ceremonies of the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State.

President Buhari, who is the university’s visitor, was represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.

He said: “I salute the university for its leading role and the production of the much-needed academic workers for tertiary institutions within and outside Nigeria.

“As we are all aware, the university system holds the key to the future of any nation. Therefore, there is a need for discipline and stability in our universities.

“It is disheartening that in the outgoing year, virtually all the university trade unions – ASUU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), and NAT – declared protracted trade disputes with dire consequences for our economy; unnecessary disruption of the academic calendar of our universities and the consequent feelings of frustration and insecurity among our youths.

“I must state clearly that there is a need for the trade unions, especially ASUU, to shun the weapon of strike action as a tool for pressing home their demands. Strike actions only compound the already poor state of our Education sector and erode the national and international reputations of our public universities.

“I, therefore, wish to appeal to our unions to always show restraints and seek their goals through negotiation and mutual respect at all times.”



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