President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called on ASUU members to reconsider their position on the on-going strike, saying “enough is enough.’’
The trade union began the strike on February 14 and the strike is now in its fifth month.
The president expressed worry that the strike would have generational consequences on families, the educational system and future development of the country.
Garba Shehu, his media aide, stated that Buhari made the call when he received some governors, legislators and political leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at his residence in Daura, Katsina State.
The visitors were in Daura to pay Sallah homage to the president.
Mr Buhari noted that the strike had already taken a toll on the psychology of parents, students and other stakeholders, throwing up many moral issues begging for attention.
He noted also that Nigeria’s future rested on the quality of education.
He assured also that government understood the union’s position, but that negotiations should continue with students in lecture halls.
“We hope that ASUU will sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike. Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake,’’ he said.
The president called on all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly those close to ASUU leaders and members to persuade the lecturers to reconsider their position and its effect on an entire generation and the nation.
According to Buhari, Nigerian students will be faced with the challenge of competing with others in technology-driven work spaces.
Keeping them at home, he argued, only deprived them of time, skill and opportunities to be relevant on the global stage.
“Colonial type education was geared towards producing workers in government. Those jobs are no longer there.
“Our young people should get education to prepare them for self-employment. Now education is for the sake of education.
“Through technology we are much more efficient. We should encourage our children to get education not only to look for government jobs,’’ he stressed.
Mr Buhari said resources should be channelled more into building infrastructure and operations of the health and educational sectors, not to expand the bureaucracy to create job opportunities.
“By this time next year, I would have made the most out of the two terms, and in the remaining months I will do my best,’’ the President assured.
He urged those in political positions and places of privilege to be mindful in helping the many Nigerians that were looking for opportunities.
“If you are greedy, you won’t look around to see what is happening with those who are less-endowed,’’ Mr Buhari noted.
The president told his guests that he had not been to his house in Daura for close to a year because of the demands of office.
“The observation that I abandoned my base was made by the Emir of Daura, Dr Faruk Umar Faruk, at the Eid prayer ground.
“He held the microphone and told everyone that the last time I was in Daura was during the Eid-el-Kabir of 2021,’’ he mused.