The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to seek alternative avenues to resolve its dispute with the Federal Government.
News that ASUU intends to begin an indefinite strike has been circulating in the media.
Bestman Okereafor, the National Public Relations Officer of NANS, made the appeal in a statement issued in Enugu on Monday.
Okereafor said that the looming strike, if embarked on, would “definitely portend ill for the education sector’’ and the country in general.
He said that NANS agreed that issues being agitated for by ASUU were long-standing but declared that previous strikes had never really brought the desired results.
“We are trying to meet with education stakeholders as well as ASUU to put the agitating issues on the table to see which ones we can plead with ASUU to suspend for now and the ones we can engage the Federal Government on.
“As much as we are not in support of the strike, we are not telling ASUU out-rightly that it is wrong for them to go on strike. You don’t flog a man and tell him not to cry.
“We are also pleading with the Federal Government to be responsible enough to meet the demands that they have reached over time since 2009.
“Agreed, it is not this present government that reached that agreement, but the government is a continuum; so it is expected that government should have sat down with ASUU to review the agreement and agree on certain things.
“Not for us to start hearing that they want to go on strike again. It’s unfortunate.
“We are planning to engage them on Monday, Aug. 21. Let us sit down collectively and find a way out,’’ Okereafor said.
According to the PRO, our institutions are research centers. Why is it that the union hasn’t gone on research to find a permanent solution to all of these agitations?
“If ASUU cannot go on research to get the desired result on how to curb all of these issues, then we are in trouble in this country,” he added.