Orji Kalu, Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, has encouraged President Muhammadu Buhari to put additional pressure on his ministers to terminate the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ ongoing strike (ASUU).
In a post that he made on Facebook on Wednesday, Mr. Kalu instructed members of ASUU to work toward making their negotiation with the government of Nigeria simpler so that students may get back to their academic pursuits.
In his statement, he made the following appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari: “I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to put more pressure on his ministers and get the students back to class.”
The former governor of Abia State, who currently represents Abia North District in the Nigerian Senate, stated that many students in his area had been absent due to the ongoing ASUU strike.
“They’ve been on me, and it makes me even more concerned,” Mr Kalu added.
He claimed that as a legislator, he lacked the authority to end the ASUU strike.
When he was governor of Abia State, he never permitted schools to close due to a strike, according to the senator.
Negotiation, he said, is critical to ending the strike if both parties are determined to do so.
He claims that the ongoing ASUU strike is worse than the country’s insecurity.
“I believe the federal government and ASUU can call an end to the strike today.” Nothing destabilises a country more than a lack of education. “It’s worse than insecurity,” the legislator said.
Mr Kalu’s remarks come just hours after workers led by the Nigeria Labour Congress staged a two-day nationwide protest against the continued closure of public colleges.
The universities have been closed for nearly five months due to unresolved issues with underfunding and inadequate welfare.
ASUU’s demands include the release of earned allowance for university lecturers, the release of university revitalisation funds, the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between ASUU and the Nigerian government, and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution platform for the payment of university lecturers’ salaries and allowances.