The speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Friday blasted the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over its decision to suspend the 8-month-old nationwide industrial action.
The striking lecturers, after the marathon National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja, suspended the strike and called on all its members to resume work with immediate effect.
While expressing delight at the development, Hon. However, Gbajabiamila in a statement seen on his official Twitter handle assured that the Federal Government is honoring its obligations to the union and universities.
“I am happy about the decision by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to suspend their ongoing strike action. This decision is the right call as it allows students at public universities in the country to resume their academic activities.
“I thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu; Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige; Professor Emmanuel Osodeke and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for their work in resolving the issues that necessitated the strike action.
“I also appreciate my colleagues in the House of Representatives for the decision to intervene in negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“I am confident that the House will endeavor to ensure that the Federal Government honors its obligations to the union and universities.
“It is regrettable that this strike happened in the first place. It’s even more unfortunate that it took so long. We must make sure that this never happens again.
“Our public universities must be fortresses of learning and innovation, where young people discover themselves and reach for the stars. This is not the case now.
“Changing this requires us to recognize some hard truths and take radical action.
“The suspension of this strike does not mean that all the issues of funding, education standard and student and staff welfare have been resolved. Therefore we must not rest on our oars.
“Rather, let this be a call to action for government, universities, unions and citizens to start the critical conversation about the future of public tertiary education in the country.
“I assure you that this is a goal that the House of Representatives will pursue with commitment and determination.
“I wish our young people Godspeed when they return to school.
“I encourage them to ensure that the disruption of the academic calendar does not deter them from pursuing their ambitions and realizing their best dreams,” urged the speaker.