President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Emmanuel Osodeke, has reacted to a comment made by Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, on the union’s ongoing strike.
Recall that Keyamo had in an interview with Channels TV on August 5, asked parents to beg the varsity lecturers to call off their strike, while also insisting that the federal government will not be blackmailed by ASUU to borrow N1.2 trillion in order to meet their demands.
Reacting to this in an interview with Channels Television on Monday, August 8, Osodeke said it is disappointing to see the Minister make such a comment.
Emmanuel who asked if Keyamo would allow his children to attend a Nigerian school, also stated that the Minister was on the street before joining partisan politics.
“FOR US AS A UNION, WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT ASUU. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY SYSTEM THAT HAS VIRTUALLY COLLAPSED IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU DON’T SEE STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER OF THE WORLD COMING TO NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES AS STUDENTS.
“YOU DON’T SEE LECTURERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COMING TO NIGERIA TO TEACH, WHILE NIGERIAN LECTURERS AND STUDENTS ARE ALL MOVING IN DROVES OUT OF THE COUNTRY. THAT IS WHY WE ARE ON STRIKE. IT IS NOT ABOUT OUR WELFARE; IT IS ABOUT THIS SYSTEM.
“ARE WE PROUD OF THIS SYSTEM? WILL KEYAMO, WHO HAD SPOKEN, ALLOW HIS CHILDREN TO SCHOOL IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES? THAT IS THE COMICAL THING I SAW WHEN HE WAS SPEAKING AND FOR ME, WHY I FELT SO DISAPPOINTED IS THIS IS SOMEONE, BEFORE HE JOINED THIS PARTISAN POLITICS, HE WAS ONE OF THOSE ON THE STREETS.”