The Most Revd Dr. Humphrey Bamisebi Olumakaiye (Archbishop and Bishop of Lagos, Anglican Communion) has appealed to the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria not to embark on another strike, foreseeing that such an action, if not shelved, would spell further doom on the education and the already long-desired development of Nigeria.
According to the doctoral degree holder of the internationally reputed Nigerian Premier University, (Ibada), the recent threat by ASUU to embark on another strike leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth.
The highly lettered cleric expressed particular worries as a parent about the great danger that the incessant closure of Nigerian higher institutions portends for the whole nation; and thus earnestly pleaded with ASUU to not give effect to their threat of the strike.
In a statement personally signed by him and made available to Independentonline via his media relations officer, Venerable Folorunsho Agbelusi, Olumakaiye Ph.D posits that:
“No nation can have any sort of development especially in the daily evolving area of technology without qualitative education which can never be gotten from frequent interruption to learning. The need to sit up as a nation is more urgent now than it has ever been if we don’t want to be left behind by other smaller nations who had hitherto looked up to us
“The frequent interruption to the academic calendar has led to a situation where many graduates cannot effectively defend their course of study and are consequently not employable. It has been discovered that part a major reason for the increasing rate of employment in our nation is because University graduates that are turned out in their hundreds of thousands annually lack the basic skills to contribute to the growth of industry and hence are not employable. The increasing rate of crime among the youths can be traceable to the frequent closure of schools as a major factor. Internet crimes have reached an alarming proportion because an idle mind is said to be the devil’s workshop. As justifiable as the reasons adduced by ASUU for this threatened strike are, I appeal to their parental soft spot to please have mercy, consideration and compassion on the coming generation and reconsider.”
The recently ordained Archbishop of the Province of Lagos, Anglican Communion, observed that when four-year courses are not concluded after six years as a result of incessant interruption of the academic calendar as often compelled by the closure of schools via unending ASUU strikes, the students get frustrated by the resultant unprogressiveness forced upon their lives.
Olumakaiye, the husband of an Obafemi Awolowo University -tutored Prof. Motunrayo Olufunke, reminded the members of ASUU of the need to shelve their plan to go strong in the interest of national development.
“Please consider the plight of the Students and sheath your sword. We cannot afford another ASUU strike as a nation”; Olumakaiye pleaded.
Meanwhile, the bold-voiced, frank-talking Clergyman has also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to demonstrate a sense of responsibility and statesmanship by honouring its earlier agreement with the leadership of ASUU.
“When one considers the emoluments of members of ASUU compared to that of political office holders, one cannot but agree that ASUU demands are reasonable.
“The government should, therefore, please think about the parents who not only pay their taxes but also struggle to send their children to school with high expectations.
Archbishop Olumakaiye admonished the government to honour its own side of the agreement and forestall the impending ASUU strike in order not to dim the lofty expectations. “It is an established fact that the fastest and easiest way to destroy a nation is to ensure that the education sector is destroyed. Knowledge is power. The Holy Bible affirms that people who lack knowledge are likely to perish. The government should please note that paying inadequate attention to the education sector is akin to sitting on a keg of gunpowder. God forbid that we continue to retrogress rather than progressing as a nation.”; Olumakaiye warned.