From Magnus Eze, Enugu
A People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Enugu State, Dr Anayo Onwuegbu, has said that the protracted strike by the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU) is a big threat to national security.
Onwuegbu, who spoke shortly after being conferred with the honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration (Honoris Causa) at the 5th special convocation by the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike (AE-FUNAI), Ebonyi State, on Tuesday, appealed to ASUU members to sheathe their sword and return to classrooms for the sake of the security of the country.
He reasoned that it was dangerous for the young population of Nigeria to be out of school for nine months, pointing out that every Nigerian was at the receiving end in the unending imbroglio.
He said that he had the opportunity of listening to both the government and the ASUU and came to a conclusion that the university staff union should accede to the pleas of Nigerians and resume academic activities at universities.
‘The government has made a wonderful gesture and I think that well-meaning Nigerians need to intervene and talk to ASUU. It’s high time they tried to thinker about their hard posture,’ Onwuegbu said.
‘You can never wish away that the country is going through a very excruciating period of economic downturn. So, I would rather add my voice to those who have been calling on ASUU to have a rethink and embrace the offer the Federal Government has made and return to the classrooms because, after all said and done, we are still Nigerians and our children are the ones bearing the brunt.
‘Nine months out of school is very dangerous not just to the learning system but very dangerous to the security system of this country.’
Onwuegbu, who spoke on behalf of other recipients of the award, thanked the university community and prayed for the growth of the university. ‘We want to promise that, having become part of the university, we shall continue to make contributions to the development of the university,’ he stated.