The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has said confidently that if elected president, his government would ensure that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) never goes on strike in future.
He stated this on Friday at the commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day in Abuja, while stressing the current administration’s inability to bring an end to the persistent strike action.
It may be recalled that the association embarked on strike in February 2022, over the government’s failure to honour over a decade-long agreement signed by both parties.
The lecturers’ demands include; the revitalisation of public universities, payment of earned academic allowances and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for payment of university lecturers’ salaries, among others.
Speaking at the occasion, Atiku said; “Therefore, I take very strong exception to the strike by ASUU. The inability of the government to resolve that crisis will never happen under a PDP government or administration that I will oversee.
“I have been investing in education for the past 30 years. I believe the PDP provides the best platform for you to actualise your individual, collective aspirations.
“Of course, I have made many public pronouncements of my intention to have a youth-inclusive government. This is because it is our responsibility to provide you the opportunities to acquire the trainings and also the experience to take over from us your parents. So, I want to congratulate you and I hope this year will usher in an administration of PDP.”
Meanwhile, during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, ASUU went on strike no less than six times between 1999 and 2007.
The strike ASUU embarked on in 1999 was due to the failure of negotiations between the union and the government over the working conditions in Nigerian universities.
The other times, the academic body went on strike are in 2001; December 2002, and in 2003, public universities in Nigeria were shut down for six months.
Also, in 2005, undergraduates were sent home for two weeks. A three-day warning strike also happened in April 2006, which eventually lasted for one week.
Again, the union, on March 26, 2007; embarked on a three months strike.