As the indefinite strike embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) entered its second week on Monday, parents and students have appealed to the union to call it off.
Some of the parents and students who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja called on the striking lecturers to embrace dialogue in the interest of the nation.
Mrs Josephine Taiwo, a business woman and mother of three undergraduates urged ASUU to suspend the strike considering its possible negative effects on both students and parents.
She noted that if the strike was allowed to continue it would alter many universities’ academic calendars and make it difficult for students to graduate at the right time.
Mrs Okiki Samson, a teacher in one of the government secondary schools in the FCT also decried incessant industrial actions in Nigeria’s tertiary education sector.
As a parent, she described the current development as unhealthy for the future of the students.
“It is unfortunate that some students have spent over five years for a course that is supposed to last four years as a result of frequent strikes.
“Whenever ASUU goes on strike, it is the children of the poor that suffer it. Most children of the rich do not school in our universities.
She urged the union to explore other avenues of ventilating its grievances, maintaining that strikes adversely affect the academic programmes.
Also, Mr Solomon Adams, a resident appealed to the lecturers to suspend the strike, calling on government to pay attention to education and treat issues relating to it as a priority.
He condemned the fact that government till date still allows issue of strike to continue in education sector.
“I appeal to ASUU to consider interests of students who are at the receiving end, so that those in final year could finish up with their examinations.
“Meanwhile, it is not good that government still allows strikes in our universities till date,’’ he said.
A parent, Mrs Victoria Babatunde, also urged the ASUU leadership to give Federal Government more time to meet its demands, in view of the present situation in the country.
“It is unfortunate that government has been unable to fulfil its own part of the agreement reached with ASUU.
“But ASUU should not be too rigid. The union should consider the prevailing situation in the country,’’ she said.
Miss Hannah Ayanwale, a law student at the University of Abuja said Education was the engine room that drives economic and technological development of any nation and should not be allowed to suffer.
“Our leaders should give education its pride of place in order to move this country to forward,” she said.
Mr Ola Alonge, a student of computer at the Nassarawa State University keffi equally appealed to the government and ASUU to resolve the lingering industrial dispute.
NAN reports that the National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi on November 5 called for an indefinite strike involving both the federal and state-owned universities.
NAN further reports that the strike follows allegation of failure of the Federal Government to implement Memorandum of Action (MOA) 2017 signed with it.
While declaring the strike in Akure, Ogunyemi said “ Having waited patiently for action and meaningful negotiation with reasonable men using the principle of collective bargaining.
“ASUU at its NEC meeting of 3rd and 4th November 2018 at the FUTA, resolved to resume the nationwide strike action it suspended in September 2017 with immediate effect.’’