The Coalition for Education and Justice (CEJ) has welcomed the refusal of Prince Abubakar Audu University Ayingba, Kogi State, to partake in the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities strike, noting that it is another proof of Governor Yahaya Bello’s incredible reforms in the educational sector.
The group said since he assumed office in 2016, Governor Bello has done tremendously well in education, improving condition of service in tertiary institutions, such as the total financial autonomy at PAAU as regards its internally generated revenue.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday in Abuja, Executive Director, Dr. Linus Obetta, said the institution’s refusal to join their colleagues is in appreciation of the notable attention received from the state government for seamless and uninterrupted academic programmes.
Due to this stable calendar facilitated by Governor Bello, Dr. Obetta added that graduates of the university are better equipped to contribute to sustainable growth and development in the country.
He, therefore, charged other state governors and indeed the Federal Government to emulate the governor’s working template in the educational sector to avoid persistent industrial action which has grounded academic activities in the nation.
While applauding the university authorities for resisting the pressure of ASUU, the Coalition for Education and Justice urged Governor Bello to sustain this sterling strides and continue to show support for the institution.
Read full statement below:
The leadership of the Coalition for Education and Justice, a civil society group in the vanguard of entrenching a regime of sustainable development in the educational sector in Nigeria through the instrument of advocacy and other critical engagements, welcomes you all to this press conference.
We wish to state that as stakeholders in the critical educational sector in Nigeria, we have on numerous occasions advocated for an educational system in Nigeria that meets global standards in terms of academic curricular engagement, as well as a suitable remuneration for academic staff of educational institutions across the country.
The one-month strike action recently embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in this critical point of our drive for educational excellence is detrimental to attaining set goals and a disruption of the academic calendar in tertiary institutions across the country.
While we believe ASUU acted within their constitutional mandate, the more significant implication of their strike action is that it would increase the burden already experienced in our educational sector.
In all our numerous advocacies as a group, we have emphasized the need for the leadership of ASUU to devise other means of negotiating for better work conditions in tertiary institutions across the country. The constant use of strike action by ASUU defeats logic so much that we are tempted to believe more than meets the eyes in the recent strike action.
Our emphasis on roundtable talks is hinged on the consequences that are associated with strike actions that leave students frustrated and idle, which in turn culminates an increase in social vices in the country.
It is our considered opinion that the leadership of ASUU is failing to realize that there is so much catching up to make in our educational sector, and any attempt at further disrupting the academic calendar through strike actions can be viewed as counterproductive.
On this premise, we wish to commend the authorities of the Prince Abubakar Audu University in Kogi State for its refusal to join the one-month warning strike embarked on by ASUU. This is a welcome development that reinforces the stance of the visitor of the university, Governor Yahaya Bello.
We have it on good authority that the action of the authorities of Prince Abubakar Audu University is hinged on the notable condition of service in the university, amongst which is the total financial autonomy it enjoys as regards its internally generated revenue. This is indeed noteworthy of the Governor of Kogi State. He has done tremendously well in the educational sector in the state since he assumed leadership in 2016.
The Coalition for Education and Justice wishes to put it on record that Prince Abubakar Audu University is the only public institution in the country that is not a part of the one-month warning strike action embarked by ASUU.
We gathered from reliable sources that the refusal of the university to join the strike action is in appreciation of the notable attention it has received from the Kogi state government in support for the seamless and uninterrupted academic programmes in the university.
The Prince Abubakar Audu University in Kogi state has remained a pacesetter in educational excellence in the country with notable innovations that has positioned it as a first among equals in the educational system in the country that has seen graduates of the university excelling in their chosen careers within and outside the shores of the country.
It is also noteworthy that under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, the university has enjoyed an uninterrupted academic calendar that has placed it in an enviable position as a citadel of learning of repute.
The Coalition for Education and Justice wishes to state in unequivocal terms that the action of the Prince Abubakar Audu University is exemplary and should be imbibed by other public universities in our quest for the rapid development in the educational sector in the country.
It is also instructive to state that the governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, has once again set a worthy template in the operations of state-owned universities that other governors should emulate in the country.
It is our considered view that should the Kogi template be implemented across the board, the educational sector in the country would experience tremendous growth and sustainability that would reflect in the quality of graduates coming out from our ivory towers.
The leadership of the Coalition for Education and Justice extends its appreciation to the authorities of Prince Abubakar Audu University for its trailblazing record in ensuring that graduates of the university are well equipped to contribute to sustainable growth and development in the country.
We are consequently not surprised that the university has continued to attract the best hands into its fold, which has gone a long way in boosting the quality of teaching at play in the university and the steady and uninterrupted academic programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The Coalition for Education and Justice commends the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, in availing the leadership of the Prince Abubakar Audu University of the necessary support in advancing educational excellence under an atmosphere suitable for learning through ways too numerous to mention.
It is our firm position that the Prince Abubakar Audu example is worthy of emulation. We urge the relevant authorities in the educational sector in the country to recognize the sterling strides recorded and implemented in the university.