Tuesday, 25 August 2009

ASUU strike: Okogie calls for end

THE Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos Catholic Diocese, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and all concerned bodies in the tertiary institutions currently on strike to shift grounds on some of their demands in the interest of the students.

He said this at the Religious Education Week programme grand finale held in Lagos recently on the theme Moral education, the bedrock of a sane society.
Okogie, who appealed to the university teachers to be guided by patriotism rather than pecuniary returns in their decision, noted that it is the students and their parents that are bearing the pains of the strike.
He added that the frequent strike actions embarked upon by universities would lead the nation nowhere.
He said: “As far as I am concerned, you cannot blame the government if what I read in the papers, that government called for a meeting and ASUU did not attend, is true; then we should not blame the government. ASUU should have honoured the invitation even if they are not going to accept government’s decisions.”
The cleric, who called for dialogue as a way out of the crisis as the greater part of the problem is borne by the children, appealed to ASUU members to reconsider their stand for the sake of the children and others, who are suffering as a result of the strike.
The Director of Religious Education of the Lagos Catholic Church, Rev. Judith Madueke, said for Nigeria to return to its rightful place in the comity of nations, moral education must be given its rightful place in the education sector.

Students leaders support ASUU
STUDENTS Union leaders from various institutions have urged university students to rebuild their present unions to strong and vibrant movement that would always defend them against government’s anti-people policies. They made the call during the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) and students protest rally held recently in Lagos, to protest government’s neglect of the education sector, the proposed N180,000 tuition fee; and support of the current struggle by ASUU, SSANU and NASU.

ACCORDING to the chairman of Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall of the University of Ibadan, Amuda Mosigbodi, “the continued lies peddled by the Federal Government as regards ASUU, SSANU and NASU is no longer tolerable as an insincere government is not worthy to lead the people. If we say we want to re-brand Nigeria and we say ‘great nation good people; then we expect good people to be at the helms of affairs, not people who will peddle lies to the populace.”
Continuing, he said, “government should learn to honour agreement; at first they told us there was no agreement, but after series of propaganda, the Federal Government has now accepted to resort to what it was supposed to do. They cannot continue to leave the Nigerian youths in perpetual servitude; they should always understand that the poor cannot sleep because they are hungry, and the rich will never sleep because the poor are awake. If they continue with this, a time will come when they will never be able to close their eyes,” he lamented.

OPEYEMI Ibrahim, a student leader from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who decried the deteriorating state of education in the country, however, said, “it is now running to 10 weeks that Nigerian students have been made to compulsorily sit at home for no fault of theirs. I am a Chemical Engineering student in my 500 level, and as I am talking to you, I have never seen a chemical with my eyes, and I am about to graduate. This tells you the quality of graduates that is produced in this country, which is nothing, but half-baked, due to gross under funding of education and misappropriation of fund. It is high time Federal Government wakes up to its responsibilities by funding education to the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) standard.”

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