Keyamo Offers Solution To ASUU Strike, Says Parents Should Beg
By Uche Eke
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) on Friday offered a solution to the prolonged Nigerian university teachers’ strike which has kept students at home for more than six months.
Keyamo, who gave the impression that the Federal Government of Nigeria has done all it could do to resolve the disagreement between her and the academic staff members of Nigerian universities, said the only thing left, that would resolve the crisis is for parents to beg the striking teachers to return to the classroom.
He added that being a parent himself, if the teachers want him to kneel down and beg, he is willing to do so even in front of television camera.
The Minister gave the solution during his appearance on ‘Politics Today,’ a programme on Channels Television, anchored by Seun Okinbaloye and monitored in Lagos.
Reacting to Okinbaloye’s questions on how the prolonged crisis can be resolved, some of which the Minister seemed to have considered indictments on the Federal Government’s approach, Keyamo said: “The moment ASUU went on strike we intervened. What is the manner again beyond that?
“The moment they declared the strike, even when the strike began, we called them to a meeting.
“What manner is more than that? It’s not that we left them to go on strike first and we were sleeping. And three months later we said ‘can we start talking?’
“The moment they declared, we immediately called them and said ‘Let us start talking.’ And as the talk started, they still went on strike.
“You cannot allow one sector of the economy to hold you by the jugular and then blackmail you to go and borrow N1.2 trillion for overheads when our total income would be about N6.1 trillion. And you have roads to build, health centres to build, other sectors to take care of.”
Offering the solution he believes will resolve the FG/ASUU matter, Keyamo said: “I want to tell parents to go and beg ASUU. Like the President said the other time, those who know them, appeal to their sense of patriotism.
“Do you want me to kneel down as a parent also? I can knell down on air and beg them. It has come to that point, let them go back to classes. They are not the only one in Nigeria. They are not the only ones feeding from the federal purse.
“The nation cannot grind to a halt because we want to take care of the demands of ASUU.
“Let’s go to more critical issues while I am here,” the Minister said.