Parents threaten hunger strike if varsities remain shut
WORRIED that the protracted industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over lecturers’ demands could generate fresh problems, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has warned that the continued closure of Nigerian universities was not in the best interest of the nation.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, the forum lamented the continuous strike and urged all lecturers to return to work since their demands were being attended to by the government.
On their part, some parents and guardians of university students, under the umbrella of the National Association of Parents, Teachers Association, South West chapter, yesterday threatened hunger strike if the Federal Government and ASUU fail to resolve their differences and reopen the schools.
They accused government of not meeting its responsibility of adequately funding the universities. Addressing reporters yesterday in Osogbo, Osun State, after the inauguration of the chapter’s executive committee, its chairman, Chief Julius Olaribigbe, said the enduring disagreement has adversely affected the students and inflicted pains on parents.
He blamed the political leadership for allowing challenges in the university system to reach critical level before acting, stating that the situation was embarrassing to Nigerians.
According to the ACF, “now that Nigerians have been told by both the Federal Government and ASUU that necessary agreements and planned actions have been completed preparatory to resumption,” it was absolutely important for all lecturers to go back to classes.
It argued that since both parties have settled in principle the issues that led to the industrial action, “and all that remain is mere paper works needed for the agreements and planned actions to find expression, ACF wishes to call on ASUU to please hasten the completion of the said paper works with a view to calling off the strike forthwith in the interest of the students, parents and educational system.”