Blame ASUU For The Prolong Strike, Festus Keyamo Tells Parents

By Damilare Adeleye

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, disclosed that the Academic Staff Union of Universities should be blamed for the ongoing and prolonged strike.

He therefore urged the Nigerian parents to appeal to ASUU to end its months-long strike action.

Festus Keyamo made this disclosure on Friday while speaking on Channels Television programme.

Nigerian public universities have been on strike since February this year, with demands on the withdrawal of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system, IPPIS, and adoption of the University, Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS. The union equally seek the University Peculiar Payroll and Payment System, U3PS or UPPPS for the non-academic unions, among others.

Nigerian parents whose children have been at home for about 170 days, have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to end the strike.

While speaking, the state Minister 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 okay 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.

Asked what he would tell parents whose children are with them at home for about 170 days?

He said, “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 knell 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”.