In response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s most recent “enough is enough” remarks, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has requested him to meet with the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led Committee on Negotiation.
Prof. Emmanuel Osekede, president of ASUU, announced this during a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja. Recall that the Federal Government appointed the Briggs committee on June 7 to renegotiate the 2009 Agreement with ASUU, and it would deliver its findings to the Education Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu, in three months.
In a statement released by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari stated that “really, enough is enough for keeping students at home.”
Responding to the remark, Osedeke said: “I do not understand why Mr President said that ‘enough is enough’, when we are not the one delaying the students at home.
“The federal government had sent its team to negotiate with us and we have finished. Instead of coming back to us to tell us the outcome of the meeting, we are hearing this.
“If you set up a committee to negotiate on your behalf, and the committee has finished and they have brought the information to you to sign and then you said enough is enough, what does this mean.’’
ASUU Zonal Coordinator for Lagos, Dr. Adelaja Odukoya, also reacted by attributing the five-month strike to the failure of President Buhari’s administration to address the problems in a statement on Tuesday.
He characterized the President’s remark as mere wishful thinking and emphasized that the fight to elevate public higher education in Nigeria will go on. In his statement, “Mr. President, saying that enough is enough is mere wishful thinking and will not resolve the present decadence in our universities nor stop the present struggle to reposition our public universities.
“For the records, Mr. President, enough will not be enough in the struggle to reposition the public university education in Nigeria under this present administration and beyond as long as; the Nigerian public universities are reduced to a glorified secondary schools for the production of poor quality and globally uncompetitive, rejected and unemployable graduates and Nigerian academics remain one of the poorest paid scholars not only in Africa but the world.”
On February 14, ASUU shut down all public universities and demanded that the FG carry out earlier agreements that both sides had made.