1st December, 2013
Nigeria’s Senate President, David Mark, on Sunday pleaded with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to work.
Mark made the plea while commissioning a lecture theatre donated to the School of Management Sciences at the Kano State Polytechnic by Senator Kabiru Gaya.
This is disclosed in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Paul Mumeh, in Abuja.
Mark said calling off the strike would salvage the already battered education sector from further deteriorating.
He urged the Federal Government not to use the sledge hammer on ASUU on account of the lingering strike.
“We have reached a situation where hard line positions would worsen the situation. My plea to ASUU is to resume classes while negotiation continues. Senator Mark was surely making reference to the ultimatum given by education minister, Nyesom Wike that academic staff return to the classroom on or before 4 December or be sacked. ASUU on its part has scoffed at the ultimatum.
But as David Mark noted: “The strike has done enough damage to our universities. They have also made their points and I think we should reason together and end this matter once and for all.
“Nobody, including the university teachers can be said to be enjoying this crisis. It is a huge cost on government, parents, the management, staff and students themselves.
“ASUU over the years has enjoyed the sympathy of Nigerians. I am afraid, if they remain adamant on this, they would lose the sympathy and support of the people,” he said.
He reiterated the inevitability of quality and functional education for the survival of any nation, saying that everything needed to be done should not be compromised, to save the education sector.
He thanked the senator for the gesture and appealed to corporate organisations, individuals and groups to emulate the senator and join hands in developing the education sector.
The senate president also commissioned other projects, including solar power water bore holes donated to the Nigeria Army 3 Brigade Command, Bukavu Barracks, Kano State.
Other bore holes commissioned were donated to the Police Command, Bompai, Kano, Nigerian Prisons formation and Kano Golf Club.
Sen. Gaya said the projects were part of his commitment to give back to the society in positive ways and ultimately address the water supply deficiency faced by the people.