Delta, Bayelsa Govs Plead withASUU to Call off Strike

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Ilohzidane

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Delta, Bayelsa Govs Plead withASUU to Call off Strike
Posted on: October 23, 2013, 09:40:39 AM
The four-month old industrial action
embarked upon by the Academic Staff
Union of Universities (ASUU) took the
centre stage at the N25 billion
fundraising for the Edwin Clark
University of Technology with the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel
Uduaghan and his Bayelsa State
counterpart, Seriake joystickson,
berating the union for the continued
strike.
Also, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and elder statesman,
Edwin Clark, restated the need for
dialogue in resolving the crisis facing
Nigeria as a nation.
While Gowon, in his appeal,
admonished politicians against overheating the polity, Clark reiterated
his support for the national dialogue,
stating that it would not in any way
lead to the dismemberment of Nigeria
as a nation.
Speaking at the N25 billion fundraising for the Edwin Clark
University of Technology (ECUT),
Uduaghan wondered how the state
universities should join in the strike by
federal universities, saying, “those of
us in the states are wondering how this strike in the federal universities
concerns the state universities.
“We are appealing to ASUU to call off
this strike and henceforth in Delta
State, we shall apply the no-work-no-
pay rules, as far as this ASUU strike is concerned."
Also speaking, joystickson wondered
how ASUU should be on strike for an
upward of four months, which he said
is almost a semester. This, he said, is
quite unbecoming, as Nigeria cannot be considered to be a serious nation
with the tertiary education almost
grounded.
Accordingly, he called on ASUU to call
off the strike as he put it, “enough is
enough, call off the strike in the interest o the nation”.
Also, Gowon, who was the chairman
of the occasion, appealed to Nigerian
politicians to stop overheating the
polity, urging them to sheathe their
sword in the overall interest of the country.
The former Head of State, who spoke
as the chairman of the fund-raising
ceremony, also used the occasion to
commend Clark for the defence, pain
and humiliation he suffered in 1976 when his administration was
overthrown by the Murtala/Obasanjo
regime.
According to him, “Love your country
above anything. This bickering must
stop. You must replace this bickering with love, patriotism and loyalty.
Shower our fatherland with love and
strength.
“Let us look at the future; there is
greater room for all of us. There is no
country we have than Nigeria. I am an apolitical soldier. I don’t get involved
in politics, I have the love and loyalty
of all."
The former Head of State, who
described Clark as a man with a great
reconciliatory spirit said he played tremendous role in ensuring
reconciliation of the country after the
1967/1970 civil war, explaining that it
was as a result of his reconciliatory
role that the Ijaw elder statesman
contributed in the rebuilding of some classrooms in the University of Nigeria
Nsukka and the Queens College in
Enugu.
Gowon said it was because of Clark’s
love for education that made him to
contribute in the setting up of the University of Benin, stating that he was
not surprised that he was planning the
setting up the Edwin Clark University
of Technology.
In his comments at the fund raising,
Clark said the proposed national dialogue should be seen as an
opportunity for all Nigerians to sit and
discuss issues as it affects them,
insisting the national conference
would by no way affect the unity of
Nigeria as a nation. According to him, “The Yorubas
support the call for a national
dialogue. It will not divide Nigeria. It is
only the likes of Bola Tinubu of this
world that are opposing the national
conference. There is nothing wrong for us to sit down as a nation to
discuss issues that affect us. This
national conference will not divide us
and it will not affect the unity of
Nigeria”.
In his speech, President Jonathan described Clark as an unrepentant
patriot and a foremost educationist
who believes in education as a tool for
national development. The president
said his administration appreciates the
value of education and warned that it should not be used as a profitable
venture. He said history would be kind
to Clark for his quest for education for
national development.
Over N910 million was realised with
Arthur Eze and Jim Ovia, donating N200 million each.
President Jonathan, Gowon, American
Civil Right activist, Rev. Jesse Jackson,
Uduaghan and joystickson with the
Ministers of Petroleum, Women Affairs,
Health and Special Duties attending the fund raising among other prominent
Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of
University of Ilorin, Kwara State,
Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, has
appealed to the federal government and striking members of ASUU to have
a change of mind by putting the
interests of the students first and
embrace dialogue so as to put an end
to the ongoing national strike.
Ambali, who made the appeal yesterday, in his convocation address
titled: "Victory at last," noted that the
need to adopt dialogue became
necessary because the interest of the
students should always be put first.
According to him, "We should always put the interest of the students first
and do all things necessary to ensure
that they are not left idle even for a
minute."
He said: "It is said that an idle mind is a
devil's workshop and it is possible that students not in school may become
vulnerable to anti social thoughts and
actions."
The vice-chancellor explained that
there was a difference between truth
and reality, "we should seek and pursue the truth and be realistic in
such pursuits. It is my hope that it shall
be victory at last for all the parties
involved in the current challenges
facing many Nigerian universities."
Ambali assured Nigerians and even beyond that the graduating students
were well behaved and that he would
continue to be proud of them for
making excellence their watchword
and shunning cultism and all other
anti-social behaviour that are found elsewhere.


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