STUDENTS’ union leaders in Nigeria have added their voices to appeals to striking lecturers to accept the offer from the Federal Government and call off their ongoing strike across the universities.
Students’ union leaders who made the appeal include the President of Ladoke Akintola University Students Union Government, Ayorinde Rufus; president of University of Ibadan Students Union Government, Babatunde Badmus and the chairman of the Obafemi Awolowo Students’ Union Transition Committee, Ayo Toluwalase Shedrach. Others include Abubakar Umar, a Students’ Union leader from Ahmadu Bello University and Isiah Johnson, a student leader from Ambrose Ali University.
The student leaders who spoke in different chats on the ongoing strike advised that the present offer, while not fully answering the lecturers’ demand, should be accepted in the interest of students now languishing at home for the past two months.
The Federal Government had ordered immediate disbursement of N100 billion for various projects across the federal universities while another N30 billion was released to pay part of the accumulated allowances of the lecturers.
Mr Johnson noted that “with the offer at hand, I plead with ASUU to go back to work. A bird at hand is better than millions in the bush. In any case, since that agreement was signed, this is the first time the government will release such huge amount. They should take it and return to work.”
Another student leader, Mr Rufus of LAUTECH urged the lecturers to reciprocate the good gesture of the government by going back to work, adding, “our lecturers have made their point and it is normal to accept this offer as a good beginning.
“ASUU should not over- flog the matter. While we know they are working and pushing for us, it is high time they thought of the plights of us the students. It is time the strike was called off,” he said.
Another student leader, Ayo Toluwase Shedrach observed that “the allowances accumulated over a long time and it may not be easy to pay off at a go. Students are rotten away. The school needs to resume while government source from more fund to attend to the needs of the universities”, he said.
Abubakar Umar from Ahmadu Bello University stated that “the lecturer should not be selfish. With one hundred and thirty billion naira, the government has tried. Let them go back to work and stop this strike.
The strike initially has popular support but most students areno more in support of it “,he said.
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