PARENTS, STUDENTS EXPRESS WORRY OVER SUSPENSION OF ASUU MEETING

Festus-Iyayi.jpg
The late Lecturer

The late Lecturer

Some Nigerians have expressed concern over the decision of Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU) to suspend its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting planned to hold in Kano on Wednesday indefinitely.

The union said in Kano on Wednesday that it took the decision following the death of its
former president, Prof. Festus Iyayi, in a motor accident in Lokoja on Tuesday.

Iyayi was going for the NEC meeting at which the union was expected to decide on its nearly five-month-old strike.

Some parents and students, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that the suspension of the meeting
might lead to further elongation of the strike by university lecturers.

They described the death of Iyayi, who was the Head of the Department of Business
Administration, University of Benin,as disheartening and devastating. Mr Mike Odia, a parent, said that the new development had dashed the hope of parents, students and many Nigerians for a resolution of the action.

”As a parent, I feel very worried about this new development. Over four months down the line, we thought we are getting to the end of the strike until this unfortunate
accident that claimed the professor’s life.

”We were happy when the president waded in and made a promise to the ASUU national
leaders and they said they were going to study the offer; we thought this would have brought the strike to an end.

”But with this development, they have
suspended their NEC meeting and one is not sure if the end is in sight.

”We only hope and pray that goodwill will prevail on the ASUU leadership to have a re-think while we commiserate with the families of the late professor,” Odia said.

He called on the Federal Government to see the unfortunate incident as an eye opener to fix the dilapidated roads across the
country.

He added that good governance was all about the people, saying that there had been too many deaths on the nation’s roads.

Another parent, Mr IIiya Kodo, told NAN that the loss of one of the union’s former presidents, Iyayi, was sad.

He said that it was a good decision by the union to call off their NEC meeting in order to mourn the death of their colleague.

Kodo said that Nigerians were on the same page with the union members on the mourning of the late unionist.

”We want to call on ASUU to have a change of mind towards the Federal Government’s new offer to them.

”Because the strike has lingered for so long and parents, students are not finding the present situation funny at all,’ he said.

He urged the union to be considerate in spite of the fact that it was calling for improvement of facilities in the nation’s
universities.

Mrs Elizabeth Nwankwo, another parent, said that the suspension of the meeting was expected after the loss of an important personality in the ASUU leadership.

”I support that ASUU mourn their colleague, because ASUU as they say, are united and the death of one of their members is pain to all of them.

”But I will like to call on them to ensure that they have their NEC after mourning their colleague and also for them to immediately call off the strike because the government has responded.

”We hope that ASUU this time around will consider the new terms on offer,’’ Nwankwo said.

A student, Stella Adeyemi, said that she had expected that by next week she would be returning to the campus.”I am very sad about this happening; I am a final year
student and we do not know what the fate of those of us that are in public universities are at the moment.
”We pray that as ASUU members reflect on the loss of Iyayi, they should also reflect on the over four-month-old strike.

Another student, Ify Samuel, said that it was sad that ASUU lost one of its strong members, adding that the union was right in suspending the meeting.

She, however, called on the union to take immediate steps to call off the strike after the mourning period. (NAN)

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