The nation’s student body, National Association of Nigerian Students as well as the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has berated the Minister for Labour and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Chris Ngige for blaming ASUU for the pervading strike in Nigerian Universities describing such remarks as unbecoming of a statesman.
Ngige had made this comments while interviewed on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’.
He had reportedly stated that the industrial unrest in the universities was as a recurring decimal and went on to quote figures deemed by our fact checkers as unreliable.
These statements earned him the wrath of both NANS and ASUU who described the statements as baseless and unbecoming of a statesman.
Speaking for NANS Rt Hon Chibueze Ofole, Coordinator for NANS in Anambra described the statements as unfair to the plight of the Nigerian Student who had committed no crime but the ordinate desire to study and assist their parents and guardians who had sacrificed so much for them.
Ofole wondered if this was the same Ngige who had reduced the heavy school fees levied against students while he was Governor of Anambra State and had also made a number of achievements in the education sector, describing the situation now as worrisome.
” How can our minister, Ngige come on air and justify our suffering? This is not fair and should be condemned, the Nigerian student has committed no crime but for his or her desire to gain knowledge which can be used to better the lot of our parents and guardians who have suffered and sacrificed for them.
NANS is hereby demanding an unreserved apology from the Minister otherwise we will invoke the.spirit and the.principles of Alutarism and mobilize against the ambition of the Minister. That is should he even get the ticket of the APC, we will mobilize heavily against it, that is if we fail to get this apology. “
For ASUU, the comments largely offended most members of the academic union. For Dr. Sude Olutobi a member of the ASUU implementation committee the continuous blaming of ASUU by Ngige was in bad faith and would only extend the strike. He said: “Listening to a doctor turned politician, a former governor of Anambra state and a member of the 7th senate, Dr Chris Ngige, I discovered there is no hope for the Nigerian university students. The ASUU strike is likely to linger more than expected.”
Olutobi also challenged Ngige to tell the world which of his children was still a student in any Nigerian university as all of them had graduated, and perhaps could be a reason for the Minister’s non-chalance on the matter.
ASUU had on the 14th of February , 2022 embarked on a one month warning strike which it was forced to extend and now in its 9th week following the FG’s failure to meet a number of its demands as well as the implementation of previously reached agreements, particularly the 2019 Memorandum of Action.