ASUU Strike: Peter Obi calls out Buhari
By Collins Mbakwe
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party has called out President Buhari and the federal government over its inability to solve the prolonged strike action by lecturers of various universities across Nigeria.
The former governor made this known when he appeared as a guest on Channels Politics Today on Monday, July 25.
According to him, the government has shown a lack of commitment to investing in education which can be seen in their inability to honour the agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He opines that there is a need to review the salaries of lecturers and professors across various institutions.
For Obi, it makes no sense that councillors earn more than university lecturers, Obi said conscious efforts must be made to improve Nigeria’s education.
He said: “What we have on our hands is a situation that requires presidential intervention. The minister that has been given an ultimatum has not just been appointed to oversee the education sector. It is not that he has just been drafted to do the job.
“This is a job that has not been done to deliver on an outcome that is desirable, so, giving an ultimatum to your minister is like saying, continue to talk as they’ve been doing?
“President Buhari is the one on whose desk the buck stops. He should sit with ASUU and engage and resolve this matter. If he can sit with party leaders over presidential primaries and get a result, he should sit with ASUU and ensure that this strike comes to an end,” said Obi.
The LP standard bearer also said: “Then, our political leaders, too, should please take this matter very seriously.
“A situation where we have local government councillors and chairmen and assembly members earning much more than professors is not ideal. Education is key. The President should take charge. The same thing goes for the looming food crisis. Our President should spend the remaining nine or ten months to take personal charge.”
Speaking about other sectors of the economy, Obi said: “You cannot talk about physical infrastructure unless you’ve dealt with human infrastructure and education is key.
“Today, we borrow money and borrow labour from China. What that shows is that you’ve not built your human infrastructure – and it’s like you’re not building your future. So, the President needs to take control immediately. And the issue of health, education and pulling people out of poverty are the most critical agenda for development and he should take control of it forthwith.”