The immediate past Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has faulted lecturers of state universities who are participating in the going strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
While saying state universities have no business in the ongoing strike, Nwajiuba, who resigned last week due to his presidential ambition, explained that most of ASUU’s demands center on challenges being faced by federal universities.
He spoke in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday just as university students in the South West protested against the ongoing strike in Ogun, Osun, Ondo, and the Edo States.
While Kaduna State University had announced that it was opting out of the strike, some other state universities such as Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho; and Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, among others insisted that they would not call off the strike.
Nwajiuba, however, encouraged ASUU members to shelve the strike.
He said, “State universities have no business with the ASUU strike. The demands that were laid down contained issues relating to federal universities and their employer, which is the Federal Government.
“For instance, ASUU talked about the introduction of University Transparency and Accountability Solution for the payment of salaries of federal lecturers. Why are state universities engaged in a struggle between the Federal Government and lecturers of federal universities? It is the state government that pays state universities, so why the need for the strike?
“We are optimistic that the strike will be called off soon. They agreed to meet with the government and that is a good step. I have always been a firm believer that you do not have to go on strike before your demands are met.”