Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has berated other presidential candidates for their indifference toward the lingering industrial action embarked upon by Nigerian university lecturers. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on strike in February to demand better funding for the university system and better remuneration for its members. The union also wants the government to replace the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a payment platform for its members. ASUU said IPPIS is marred with irregularities and does not recognise the peculiarities of universities. No resolution has been met by the striking lecturers and the Nigerian Government as academic activities have been grounded for millions of university students.
Meanwhile, Sowore in a post via his Twitter handle on Monday morning, said, “There are over 16 Presidential candidates running in the 2023 election. I am yet to find records of anyone of them fighting for students rights, qualitative education or education opportunities for young people. For me, EDUCATION is a RIGHT, It is NOT a PRIVILEGE! #EndASUUStrike.”
Earlier on Monday, he tweeted, “Nigerian students haven’t seen the inside of their classrooms in 6 months due to a protracted strike action occasioned by their teachers seeking better education standards. Nigeria’s wicked leaders past and present have ensured education is not a priority! #WeCantContinueLikeThis.”
Easterner had reported that the workers’ union, Nigerian Labour Congress, recently protested over the ASUU strike. The protest was led by The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba.
Specifically, the NLC said the money the two major political parties – the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party – generated from the sale of forms to aspirants could address ASUU’s demands.