From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Students’ Wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG-SW) has faulted the Federal Government’s litigation against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The government had instituted a legal process to force ASUU members to reopen universities without arriving at a lasting resolutions.
National Coordinator of CNG-SW, Emuseh Gimba Bokunga, at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said the group had initiated different means like reaching out to the Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives on the matter but to no avail.
He called on the Federal Government to withdraw the litigation against ASUU, to allow for a quick intervention by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Bokunga, also called on former heads of State and presidents to intervene, noting that the industrial action was taking a toll on students.
He said: “The CNG-SW is worried that the Federal Government could not genuinely engage the university teachers after months of strike only to resort to using legal instrument to stifle their legitimate demands and force them to classes without addressing key issues in their demands.
“It is on record that the Speaker of the House of Representative, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has intervened and discussion is ongoing between the FG and National leadership of ASUU to find common ground to reopen the ivory towers.
“In view of this development, CNG-SW faulted use of legal process by the federal government to jeopardise the process and prolong the possible amicable resolution to the crisis.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should engage ASUU leadership himself to resolve this problem within the shortest possible time just like what Goodluck Jonathan did around 2014 when there was similar situation.
“It is rather despicable that former Nigeria’s Heads of States/Presidents remain indifferent and unperturbed to the plights of millions of Nigerian students whose future is being destroyed as a result of the industrial disharmony in the Universities.
“It is reprehensible that former and present Chief Justices of the Federation remain aloof to the situation of the multitudes of young Nigerians whose educational pursuit has been put to a halt.
“The CNG-SW condemns insensitive pasture and arrogant display of graduation of President Buhari’s daughter-in-law by the First Lady, Aisha Buhari from a foreign university while Nigerian universities have remained under lock and key.
“We call on the Federal Government to hasten withdrawal of the litigious process to allow for a quick intervention by the Speaker to handle the problem genuinely, quickly and finally.
“It is our genuine concern that forcing lecturers to return to universities without resolving the crisis will only further frustrate the negotiation process.
“We have observed with dismay that a number of promising and committed academics have resigned and exited the country and picked up academic career elsewhere upping the issue of brain drain in the public universities.
“The CNG-SW, therefore, called on all the stakeholders particularly the President, former Presidents/ Heads of State, Chief Justices and traditional leaders to speedily engage with the leadership of ASUU to resolve this impasses to reopen our institutions of learning.”