Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), today, raised concerns over the lingering issues raised by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and urged the federal government to put an end to their action without unnecessary delay.
A communiqué signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the committee, Comrade Idris Afees Olayinka and made available to National Association of Online Security Reporters (NAOSRE) in Lagos, read: “The incessant shutting down of Nigerian University System is not only killing the nation’s education quality and standard but also crippling the nation’s growth and development.
“It is no more news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities poised in raising the standard of nation’s education and making it a reference point, engaged the federal government of Nigeria through incessant and perennial industrial actions to press home the union’s demands.
“The ASUU’s protracted industrial actions cripple not only the education system of the country but different sectors of the economy with great consequences on the larger society.
“These industrial actions on many occasions lead to students losing interest in program continuation, lack of interest in Nigeria education system, poor academic performance, unstable academic calendar, unnecessary time extension, more cost on the part of students and parents among others.
“In line with the above, the Committee for the Defence of Human frowns at the government insensitivity to the ASUU’s demand over the years. It is therefore imperative for the federal government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency to address the lingering issues raised by the union and put an end to their action.
“All agreements and recommendations since 2009 and beyond must be respected and implemented. Additionally, UNESCO recommendation of 26% annual budgetary allocation to education should be considered without further delay.”
CDHR warned the federal government that if no critical step is taken towards addressing the issue, they will have no option but to mobilize mass actions against the federal government.
The committee emphasized that the action is not to destabilize the political system but to put the government on its toes to address the agitations of the union.
In the same vein, CDHR condemned the continued disruption of academic calendar in government institutions and the apathetic attitude of political office holders who are busy buying nomination forms at N100, 000,000 while the nation’s education sector and the economy at large are gasping for breath.
It said, “The Federal Ministry of Education, National University Commission, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and other stakeholders in Nigerian Education sector should put heads together to resolve these lingering crisis as well as preventing its future occurrence. The cause ASUU champions is a patriotic one.
“The federal government should expect mass actions from coalition of rights groups, labour unions and other NGOs in the event it fails to address permanently the perennial ASUU crisis.”