Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will stage a two-day nationwide protest next week (July 26 and 27) over continued closure of federal universities.
In a circular signed by President Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, NLC said the protests would take place in Abuja and all its councils in the 36 states of the federation including Abuja.
Calling on the councils to begin mobilisation immediately, NLC berated the Federal Government for alleged unwillingness to resolve the crisis rocking the institutions.
It also accused government of rejecting recommendations of the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee. It said since the Federal Government set up the committee to make recommendations on review of workers’ salaries in universities, the negotiating unions and NLC have been in the dark on its report.
It added that circumstances surrounding the work of the committee portray the government as unserious. This came as legal luminary and statesman, Chief Wole Olanipekun, urged Nigerians to view the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as a national emergency, which must be resolved immediately.
He made this known while delivering the 2022 National Public Service Lecture of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) worldwide, entitled: ‘Building Blocks for Unbundling Critical Problems Plaguing Education in Nigeria: A Clarion Call to Alumni Associations to Rebuild the Collapsing Portal through which they Passed’.
He said: “If we place premium emphasis on education, how much is ASUU requesting that we cannot give? These lecturers are not just fighting for themselves; they are fighting for the future of public education in the country.
“This is the time for all prominent Nigerians, including alumni associations, to fight for the education of our youth.
“I foresee a future, and a near one for that matter, where federal and state governments will privatise all the state-owned universities and tertiary institutions. This is a prediction, which should not meet any one of us by surprise, otherwise, we may be echoing, ‘there was a university’.”
In another development, the Synod of the Diocese of Lokoja Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) expressed grave concern over the lingering ASUU strike.
It called on the ASUU leadership and the Federal Government to resolve their differences in the overall interest of students and the country.
This was disclosed in a communique issued at the end of the 1st Session of the 10th Synod, at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Lokoja.