A group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on the National Assembly to immediately impeach President Muhammadu Buhari over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
ASUU embarked on strike on February 14, 2022, over unresolved issues with the federal government, especially government’s decision not to meet the 2009 agreement reached with the university lecturers.
In a statement on Wednesday, HURIWA lambasted Buhari for allegedly compounding the security challenges of the country by allowing the strike by lecturers in public universities to linger for long.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said undergraduates have been heavily harvested and recruited into crimes including terrorism, banditry, Internet fraud, prostitution, drug trafficking, amongst others, because of the prolonged industrial action by ASUU.
The group, therefore, asked the leadership of the National Assembly to immediately pass a no-confidence vote on Buhari and sack him.
HURIWA also said the All Progressives Congress (APC) government was not serious to end the ASUU strike that has besieged the country and brought public tertiary education to a halt.
The statement reads: “The APC-led government has demonstrated nonchalance to tertiary education in public schools obviously because the ruling class send their children to private institutions in Nigeria and overseas.
“The APC raked in over N2.5 trillion naira from its recent presidential primary alone as over 25 aspirants paid N100 million each. The N2.5 trillion is excluding trillions gotten from thousands of governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly aspirants.
“If the party is serious about ending the ASUU strike and saving its President, Muhammadu Buhari, from ignoble shame, it would have given just N1.1 trillion to ASUU to end the strike. But unfortunately, we have shameless people in power both at the APC top echelon and the Federal Government.”
ASUU led by Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke had on February 14, 2022, said its fresh industrial action came on the heels of the government’s failure to satisfactorily implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the Union in December 2020 on a renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), funding for revitalisation of public universities, withheld salaries, amongst others.
Before this year, students of public universities had also been at home for nine straight months in 2020 when ASUU and the Federal Government had a face-off over unpaid areas, choice of payment platforms, among other contentious issues.
According to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the government had paid about N90 billion from the over N1.1 trillion demanded by ASUU for revitalization and earned allowances.
HURIWA noted, “We call on the National Assembly to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari for letting the ASUU strike linger thereby endangering national security. Everyone knows an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. This is why is not imaginable that some undergraduate youths would have gone into sophisticated crimes such as kidnappings, cultism, terrorism, drug trafficking, amongst others.
“The government’s inability to resolve the industrial crisis in the public universities whereby over 70% of youths attend because they are from poor backgrounds is a direct declaration of war on the youths.
“HURIWA, therefore, urged the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to be a man now that he couldn’t get his promised presidential candidacy from the cabal in Aso Rock. He should do the needful and etch his name on the sands of time by impeaching the President.
“HURIWA will subsequently write to all Western Embassies to urge them not to admit children of governors, ministers and the President for any academic programmes in their nations until the ASUU strike is permanently solved.
“Also, the National Association of Nigerian Students must sustain public protests and not cave into intimidation and money-based Aluta. They should not eat their future like Esau.”