All efforts in the past to resolve the lingering ASUU strike by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and his counterpart in the Ministry of Education, Adamu Adamu have yield no positive results.
The University Lecturers began the current strike action on February 14th following the failure of the Federal Government to acceed to their demands including the 2009 MOU, Revitalization Funds, Earn Allowances, improved welfare package and the controversial IPPS.
Nigerians have lost count of botched attempts by Ngige and Adamu to resolve the lingering crisis in our education sector but sad to say that efforts by the leadership of the House of Representatives to wade into the crisis have also been nearly frustrated by Ngige.
The decision of Ngige to walk out of the recent meeting in Abuja called by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila is to say the least unpatriotic and very embarrassing.
If the attempt by the Federal Government to force the Leturers to return to work through the back door using pronouncement by the National Industrial Court had failed woefully, why should Chris Ngige stood in the way of Mr Speaker in trying to find solution to the problems within his purview that he cannot solve.
Is it the same Minister of Labour and Employment that contested for the APC Presidential ticket?
The same Chris Ngige you remember arrogantly said that the country has more than enough Doctors and that those who have decided to relocate for greener pasture can be sending foreign currency (Dollars) back home.
We all know what has becomes of our Health sector at the moment because of the egocentric nature of the Minister for Labour and Employment.
Thousands of Nigerian doctors that the nation had refused to ecognise and celebrate back home are the same who are the heroes saving lives abroad and receiving mouthwatering salaries.
It is on record that Chris Ngige walked out of the same meetings he called with the leadership of ASUU, how much more the peace meeting initiated by the Speaker, House of Representatives.
Nigerians are insisting that Chris Ngige must tender unresolved apologies for not only walking out but insulting ASUU President at the said meeting.
This is a clarion call on the National Assembly to be very decisive in given their nods to the Presidential Appointees when they come before them for screening and approval.
Mr President during his nationwide Broadcast to mark the nation’s 62nd Independence Anniversary, he lamented over the lingering strike and renewed appeal on ASUU to return to class.
According to the President, the federal government will continue to attend to the needs of the Lecturers if they return to work while the negotiation resumes.
The question to ask Mr President is, is it the same Chris Ngige that will preside over the meeting when it resumes or Adamu Adamu who is also not consistent with his submissions on the strike.
From a reliable source, members of the Academic Staff Union of University are prepared to return to classes if government is ready to pay their Salaries within the period of the strike. The No Pay No Work policy to them is counterproductive if the matter is to be resolved now.
Finally, I want to appeal to the leadership of ASUU to align with the position of Mr Speaker in shifting grounds on some of their demands so that our children can return to school. No doubt in the fact that ASUU is fighting for the future of this country but today many of the same future leaders have lost track and focus due to the prolonged strike.
STRIKE is inevitable and not peculiar to our country, but Nigerians are hoping that this will be the last in our tertiary education sector if indeed we want to catch up with growth and development other smaller countries in Africa are celebrating before the global community.
God bless Nigeria my country.
Lagos based Journalist.