Opeyemi Falegan, philanthropist and founder of the Opeyemi David Falegan Foundation, has urged former presidents and military leaders to get involved in the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ ongoing strike in order to protect the interests of students who have missed more than six months of class.
Falegan called on the Federal Government and the striking academics to consider making the required sacrifices to put a stop to the strike, saying that the strike was more felt by the impoverished Nigerians and students whose parents could not afford to send them to private or international universities.
The United Kingdom-based Social Democratic Party chieftain, made the appeals in a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, titled, “Strike: Nigerian tertiary education system on the verge of total collapse if ASUU strike continues, Falegan warns”.
He said, “It is disheartening, callous and unfortunate that the government officials who can afford to give their children and siblings better education abroad or through standard private schools in Nigeria cannot come to term with ASUU in order to allow the children of the masses back to classrooms.
“The strike has continued to cause untoward hardship on the students and their parents, hence, the need for warring factions to as a matter of urgency make necessary sacrifice to end the strike.
“The continued industrial action by ASUU may lead to total collapse of tertiary education in Nigeria if the Federal Government and ASUU continue to flex muscles. They should sheath their swords in the best interest of hapless Nigerian students and their parents”.
He urged former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan and as well past military leaders including Yakubu Gowon, among others to intervene with a view to making the President, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), see reason to ensure reopening of the universities.
Falegan said, “We call on well-meaning Nigerians especially former heads of state and presidents to prevail on the current Nigerian leaders to accede to the demands of ASUU to allow the lecturers and students return to the classrooms,” he said.
The philanthropist, who expressed concern that the Federal Government was hiding under not having enough resources not to meet the demands of ASUU, said, “It is unfortunate that money being stolen in the country by single individuals can pay the ASUU demands 10 times, but the government has continued to blame its inability to meet same demands on lack of funds”.
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