President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement about the strike. Buhari’s ultimatum to Education Minister Adamu Adamu to end the five-month indefinite strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, should come as encouraging news for anxious Nigerians.
But, after more than seven years in the saddle, we have seen the president issue these ultimatums and “marching orders” and hold numerous “emergency meetings” with security and military chiefs about our security issues that continue to worsen. The president’s “marching orders” are now seen as wands that do not produce magic.
The ultimatum itself was also shrouded in numerous controversies. The government’s inability to resolve this strike was blamed on the Labor and Employment Minister, Dr Chris Ngige, by the union and education minister, Adamu. The minister accused Ngige of claiming the right to conduct negotiations on the basis of the statutes of the International Labor Organization, ILO.
ASUU had also served notice that it would not accept Ngige’s presence on the negotiation table. To this effect, Buhari ordered Ngige to withdraw and let Adamu head the effort.
We see this controversy as childish and diversionary. We are of the view that the task of working out plans to end the strike of ASUU or that of any other workers union under the Federal Ministry of Education is strictly the responsibility of the Minister, Adamu.
The Labour Minister is a negotiator.
Adamu’s reported withdrawal for Ngige is a gross display of immaturity and dereliction of duty.
In any case, what were his credentials as an educationist that warranted his appointment as Education Minister?
What achievements can Adamu show to justify his full two terms of seven years and counting?
What new things will he bring that he withheld for the past five months while our children languished at home?
Now that the president has directly saddled Adamu with the responsibility of ending the ASUU strike in two weeks starting from Tuesday, July 19, 2022, let us hope that on or before August 2, 2022, our long suffering university students will be back in their respective institutions.
The cold attitude of Minister Adamu might be because his children are schooling in universities abroad. When confronted with this fact in his office by the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Mr. Sunday Asefon, in February 2022, the Minister angrily walked out.
The final buck on this ASUU strike is on Buhari’s table. It is his government. We expect him to lead from the front and solve this problem once and for all.
We hold on Buhari’s statement to account.
Source: Vanguard News