The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, Tuesday, said the elites in Nigeria are daring the masses by posting pictures of their children graduating from foreign universities on social media while universities have been closed in Nigeria for over five months.
Wabba stated this while speaking on a Channels Television’s programme monitored by our correspondent on Tuesday.
He said, “The issue in dispute should be a matter of concern to every Nigerian that our Nigerian universities have been closed down for five months.
“The children of the poor and particularly the working class are at home while the children of the rich and the elites are graduating daily from foreign universities and they have the ordacity to post those pictures to all of us.
“It was Mandella that said the best way to address inequality in our society and address poverty is to give the children of the poor quality education.
“That is why we are actually responding and a lot of efforts have been made by the NLC in the past five months including pre-warning letters.”
He said paucity of funds should not be used as an excuse by the government, saying the government was not taking education seriously in the country.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since Febrary 2022 to demand adequate funding of the universities, among others.
The NLC president expressed dismay that the government allowed the ASUU strike to linger for so long while the youths were wasting away at home.
Wabba also said parents were depressed because their children had been at home for five months, stressing that “our protest is to call for urgent action to resolve the issues.”
The NLC president while denying the allegations by the government that the congress was taking side with ASUU, said that all the university unions – ASUU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) – are affiliates of the NLC.
“We are not taking side with ASUU, we are affected directly.”
He said the government was the one in the wrong for stopping the salaries of university workers for five months, which he said was against the law.
Wabba disclosed that if no action was taken by the government after the protest, the NLC would embark on a three-day nationwide warning strike.
The NLC’s protest started on Tuesday in all the state of the federation while that of the Federal Capital Territory will hold on Wednesday.