The chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU),Institute of Agricultural Research and Training(I.A.R&T) of the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU) chapter, Dr(Mrs) Olufunmilayo T. Ande, yesterday appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan, not to allow some of those working with his administration to mislead him to drag Nigeria back to the dark days of “Abacha’s regime.”
She gave this advice while addressing members of the I.A.R & T ASUU after a procession organised to honour and to mourn the former national president of the union, Professor Festus Iyayi, who died recently in a motor accident along Lokoja-Abuja Road.
Ande, the union’s deputy chairman, Mr Adesina K. Tiamiyu and its secretary, Dr J. Olaide Saka, had led scores of the union members in the procession, after which they were addressed by the chairman and the institute’s executive-director, Professor James Alabi Adediran, who described Iyayi’s death as a great loss to Nigeria.
The ASUU chairman maintained that the struggle embarked upon by the union was a struggle to liberate the country’s public universities and the entire educational sector.
She urged President Jonathan to immediately honour the federal government’s agreement with the union.
Ande maintained that since Nigeria currently claims to be a democratic society, President Jonathan should not adopt threat to force the striking ASUU members to go back to the classrooms without the guarantee that the agreements reached will be honoured.
She maintained that the union was not convinced that the former ASUU national president died in a motor accident with the evidence before the union.
Parents threaten mass protest
Parents of university students in the country under the aegis of the National Association of Parents Teachers Association, South West chapter have threatened a two million people mass protest to the Aso Rock should the federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) fail to reconcile their differences soonest.
The chairman of the association, Pastor Julius Olaribigbe who spoke with newsmen in Osogbo after the inauguration of new executives of the state chapter of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) said that the parents will also embark on hunger strike adding that the protest which will be massive will take government unaware.
Olaribigbe noted that the faceoff between ASUU and the federal government was embarrassing to the nation adding that the threat by the federal government to sack lecturers who fails to resume work is empty and unfortunate.
He said, “The over two million parents across the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will embark on a mass protest if this situation should continue,” adding that the federal government needs to accede to ASUU’s demands in the interest of the down trodden parents.
The association threw their weight behind the Osun State government in its new education policy saying that parents have studied the new policy and endorsed it because of its immediate and future benefits.
The Osun State’s newly inaugurated chairman, Dr Ekundayo Ademola charged the people of Osun State to support the new education policy.