The Universities Academic Staff Union and the Polytechnic Academic Staff Union have advised Nigerians to vote for leaders who will invest in education.

The national presidents of ASUU and ASUP, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke and Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, respectively, told our correspondent in an interview that the only way to avoid a strike in the education sector and achieve general progress was for the Nigerians elect leaders who believe in education.

Osodeke explained that “I hope that after the elections we will have someone who believes in education as the catalyst for the growth of the country because the recent government does not believe in that. The catalyst for growth for any government is an investment in education, especially tertiary education. “

Osodeke emphasized that the strike was not a problem but a symptom that something was wrong.

“Any day we have a government that takes education seriously, we will not have strike action again. When you invest in education, there is no strike. We were negotiating and we have come far, suddenly the government dissolved the committee because they believed that the court had ordered ASUU to resume.

“We should be looking for someone who believes in education and believes that in order to grow, you have to have a good education and quality health care.

“Among the 18 contestants, look for the one who has education plans and believes in investing in education.”

ASUU, University of Lagos Chapter, Dr. Dele Ashiru, said:

“ASUU awaits the conclusion of the renegotiated FGN/ASUU Agreement of 2022, the payment of all withheld salaries, a commitment to the adequate financing of education at all levels, as well as a demonstration of absolute fidelity to the Agreement when it is finally signed. . What we really need is a system change.

“Regardless of who wins the election, unless we change the system, it can be difficult to move forward as a nation. Changing the structure of Nigeria so that it works for the people and not for a select few

Only the action(s) or inaction(s) of the government can determine that. Our union only responds to the insensitivity of the government. “

In his opinion, Ezeibe said that Nigeria needed leaders who are open-minded and aware of the challenges in the education sector.

“We need human leaders who are passionate about solving the problems of the sector. Such a person should have adequate knowledge of the challenges with an open mind for inclusive engagements leading to sustainable solutions. “

He also insisted that the government must also conclude the ongoing renegotiation of the 2010 ASUP/FGN agreement.

“ASUP expects the government to conclude the ongoing renegotiation of the ASUP/FGN 2010 agreement which is long overdue.

“This must be achieved through the candid conclusion of the collective bargaining process that began in 2017 and, when concluded, will solve many persistent problems in the sector. We expect the government to respect the agreements, respect the laws/statutes, respect the staff unions. In general, we expect a reorientation in terms of the government’s disposition towards education. “

Mr. Remi Ajiboye of the Yaba College of Technology said ASUP expects the government to quickly comply with its parts of various MOU&As this year as preventive measures against the possibility of strikes resuming.

Ajiboye explained that “For now, those who are competing and likely to win are members of the old order, so we are left without the kind of option we would have liked in the leaders, but we must make a decision.

“I wish to advise Nigerians to seek more information about the candidates based on their records and contributions to humanity, especially in their respective environment or local community.”