A legal luminary and former Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Chief Chris Okewulonu, has cried out over the deteriorating academic standards in most Nigerian universities, warning that if the ugly trend is not halted, the quality of graduates churned out by the universities might spell doom for the nation’s educational growth and development.
Speaking against the backdrop of the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Chief Okewulonu expressed worry that the inability of the Federal Government and ASUU to reach a compromise so as to call of the almost nine months strike by ASUU, is contributing to the decay of academic standards in the universities. He said it is very unfortunate that selfish ego rather than national interest and the academic well being of the suffering students who are bearing the brunt of the FG /ASUU quagmire , has continued to prevail.
He lamented that stakeholders, parents, Civil Society Organizations and members of the National Assembly, should urgently intervene to put an end to the impasse. “Everybody should speak out now. Our universities are gradually, but steadily dying. Sitting on the fence in the face of this socio-educational malady is unpatriotic. Our children didn’t offend us or the federal government”.
According to Chief Okewulonu, the Universities Miscellaneous Act is a law guiding and regulating the activities of ASUU, and must therefore, be respected by everybody. He stated that as a lawyer, he is always guided by the rule of law, pointing out that any action by any individual or government which breaches the law, should be condemned as laws are meant to be obeyed by all irrespective of any other considerations.
While calling on stakeholders and other Nigerians to prevail on the federal government and ASUU to shift grounds to pave way for an amicable resolution of all issues in contention, he warned that the consequences of keeping students idle at home with a bleak future staring them on the face, might reduce the just ended #ENDSARS protest across the country, to a child’s play.