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How to curb incessant ASUU strikes – Ex-VC

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Former Vice-Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo, Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor, says having somebody from the academia as minister is the only way to checkmate the incessant strikes in the Universities.

Agbonlahor stated this on Wednesday in Benin following the 10-week-old industrial action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Our correspondent reports that ASUU embarked on the strike to press home its demand for the implementation of its 2009 renegotiated agreement with the Federal Government.

Federal Government has, however, set up another team to renegotiate the deal, the effort that is yet to yield the desired result.

He said it would take somebody familiar with the challenges in the education sector to mobilise political will to address it.

He said, academics playing a second fiddle in politics would not salvage the situation. currently facing the sector, adding: “There are a lot of academics in government, but unfortunately once you are part of the government, you cannot criticise it.

“If you try that, politicians will ensure you are not reappointed or get reelected. So it is only independent ones that can talk.

“If Nigeria tries professors as president and vice president, that may change the situation. Perhaps, he would want to act what he preaches,” he said.

Agbonlahor noted, however, that there were some academics in government still pushing for change, but who had been meeting resistance from the Nigerian politicians.

Usman Aliyu

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