By Olugbenga Salami
Planned shutdown of political activities in the country by the National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS over the continued Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike has been suspended.
This was sequel to an intervention by the Senate and a non-governmental, Vision Africa on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
NANS, through its National President, Sunday Asefon, had threatened to shut down Abuja and ensure that political parties did not hold their scheduled primaries this month.
Speaking when the convener of the Vision Africa, Bishop Sunday Onuoha lead them to meet with the leadership of the National Assembly, Asefon, said they planned to shutdown Abuja because the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who apparently want to contest for the 2023 presidential election, don’t care about how they can resolve the ASUU and the Federal Government face-off.
“We decided that no political party will hold a primary in Abuja because the issue of the strike action embarked upon by ASUU for months has been neglected. But with the intervention of Vision Africa through Bishop Sunday Onuoha, we want ASUU and the federal government to go back to the negotiation table so that we can go back to school. The Senate has done it before, we are ready to allow for such an atmosphere,” Asefon said.
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who promised that the National Assembly would intervene, said the 2009 agreement shouldn’t have been signed.
“There is no way the government can handle that agreement. It is a contentious issue because some people only wanted ASUU to go back to the classes. The federal government must always remain truthful because I don’t see how they will get that money.
“We must be truthful. We sit here because we were able to go to school and no nation can develop without giving education to its citizens. You have to educate the people and get them ready. Education institutions generally must be alive to the reality. We must be ready to spend on educating our citizens. Malaysia and other countries are developing because they invest in education.
“We are going to intervene. We will bring ASUU and the federal government back to the negotiating table. Stop the planned protest so that we can bring everybody to the table. Give us a chance to do that believing that we are going to find a solution. We will start the negotiation again,” Lawan assured.