By Michael Oche
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday said the Federal Government engrossed itself in the 2023 politics while abandoning students at home as a result of failure to resolve the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba who addressed a press conference during the Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting of the Congress on Wednesday, lamented that the government pays lip service to issues concerning education to the detriment of the masses.
Wabba regretted that the political class is busy with 2023 electioneering activities, while universities in the country are shut down indefinitely.
He said, “We are facing a period of great injustice on the downtrodden of the society, children of the poor are at home but the children of the rich are going to school, we have written several communication to the government but no response till date, rather they are busy discussing politics.”
Nigerian Pilot reports that public universities in the country have been on strike for over 73 days.
While the issues in contention revolve around revitalization funds for Nigerian universities and shoddy implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System, IPPIS, there are also indications that the government may have started implementing the “no work no pay” policy against the university workers.
Wabba reminded the CWC members that unionists and workers all over the world have not had it rosy, especially with events that have continued to shape the world, Covid-19, and the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
His words, “I think it’s very clear we have not had it rosy, we just got out of COVID-19 but we have more serious challenges centred on education.
“As you all know, the children of the poor are at home while those of the rich are going to school. To date, we have communicated through recommendations to the government but no response.
“This is most disheartening because people in our generation benefited from free education from primary to tertiary level. This is not acceptable, instead of the politicians discussing these issues as a national emergency they are occupied with the 2023 elections.
“We at this CWC meeting would be looking at the upcoming political dispensation, a lot of broken promises. No worker should sit down and just watch, certainly, that will not be our portion. We must engage politicians, making sure the downtrodden are accommodated in the next political dispensation”, he added.