The Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the ASUU will encourage the government to review its strategy on commercialising education and starving public universities of funds.
The union, while justifying the prolonged strike, insisted that it was the only avenue to compel the government to respond to the plight of the citizens, calling on Nigerians, especially parents, to bear with the union as no good thing comes without pain.
The AAU chapter of ASUU, which stated this in a statement titled, ‘The Survival of Public Universities in Nigeria and the Desirability of the Ongoing Nationwide Strike,’ said the government should be adequately confronted for its plan to raise the cost of education beyond the reach of the poor majority of Nigerians.
In the statement signed by the union’s chairperson, Dr Monday Igbafen, it tasked all stakeholders in the education sector, particularly the students and parents, on the need to join the patriotic struggle to defend the adequate funding of education in the country, describing the ongoing strike as a veritable motif to bring about quality education to the country.
Igbafen said, “Nigerians should bear with us. ASUU is fighting the people’s battle. Our union is struggling to ensure that the children of the poor, who cannot afford the prohibitive cost paid in private universities or do not have opportunities to study outside Nigeria, get quality education which is now priced beyond their reach.
“This will only happen when the government adequately funds public universities and addresses the rot and decay in them.”
The union also accused some government leaders of gross insensitivity to the sad realities in public universities because their children were not in Nigerian universities.
“This is responsible for the obvious lack of committed interest and concern of the government to the earnest resolution of the issues which led to the ongoing strike,” the statement added.