The Presidency has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to resolve the lingering strikes by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) “once and for all”.
Presidential aide, Mr Femi Adesina, made the comment on Channels Television’s Politics Today, arguing that the varsity teachers’ action dates back years.
“He (Buhari) appealed to ASUU to consider the plight of those young ones. It shows that the president is ready to have this matter resolved once and for all,” Adesina said during the show on Thursday.
He explained that President Buhari is seeking a lasting solution to the strike, maintaining that there have been industrial actions “under everyone”.
ASUU is accusing the government of not listening to their demands.
“Last week, I saw something on Facebook that Alhaji Shehu Shagari was appealing to ASUU to go back to class. Alhaji Shagari ruled 43 years ago. And he was appealing to ASUU to go back to school,” the presidential aide said.
“That shows you that this is an endemic issue. Left to the government, the students will go back tomorrow but then the issue has to be resolved conclusively so that in another six weeks, eight weeks, or six months, we don’t go back to where we are today.
“It would not vitiate the legacy of the president in any way because this dates back in time. It was there under Shagari; it was there under Buhari as a military leader; it was there under Babangida, and it was there under Shonekan — under everybody.”
Earlier in the day, Buhari had appealed to the striking lecturers to consider the students’ plight and call off the strike.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on ASUU to consider the plight of the students and call off the ongoing strike action,” Buhari said at the 19th National Productivity Day and conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit award held at the State House in Abuja.
“I also call on students to exercise patience as we try to address the nagging issues in our university system within the ambits of available resources.”