Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Wednesday, threatened to drag the Federal Government to court over its persistent failure to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and end the ongoing strike.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, noted that it is shameful that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has maintained a lackadaisical attitude to the future of Nigerian youths in public tertiary universities in the country.
The group said three Senior Advocates of Nigeria are on standby to slug it out with the Federal Government since the All Progressives Congress has shown irresponsibility to the plight of public university lecturers and children of ordinary Nigerians in public schools.
Recall that ASUU leadership met with Federal Government on Tuesday with the goal being amicable resolution of the industrial action that started on February 14, 2022.
The striking lecturers met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Renegotiation Committee on at the National University Commission in Abuja but the latter did not come with any new offer on the table. Instead, the committee appealed to the lecturers to suspend the strike, assuring that their demands will be captured in the 2023 budget.
ASUU, it was learnt, however, rejected the assurances, stating that the strike won’t be called off till the Federal Government satisfactorily meets all its demands which include improved welfare, payment of N1.1 trillion revitalisation funds, use of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution and the suspension of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
Commenting on the deadlocked meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government on Tuesday, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The levity and lack of seriousness with which the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari is handling the six-month strike by ASUU is worrisome.
“Through their body language, ministers and government officials whose kids school abroad apparently don’t want the strike to end because it doesn’t affect them.
“The disappointing comment of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State recently that the Federal Government cannot borrow N1.1 trillion to meet ASUU’s demands tells it all. Whereas, this present regime has borrowed so much from China that Nigeria’s debt to the Chinese Government as of 2021 September rose to an unprecedented $3.59bn.
“HURIWA demands concise resolution to ASUU strike within a week. The FG either makes this happen or we sue President Muhammadu Buhari for killing education in Nigeria. Already, three Senior Advocates of Nigeria are on standby for probono legal service in that direction. The future of Nigerian youths must be salvaged very fast.”
August 17, 2022
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).