The federal government has assured students of Colleges of Education across the country that the strike action embarked upon by their lecturers will soon be over.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, who made this known while addressing the National Association of Nigerian Students Joint Campus Committee, said President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that the protracted strike action be brought to an end. The student union, led by its Chairman, Adediwura Adesina, had embarked upon a peaceful rally at the Federal Secretariat Abuja. Wogu told the students that the grievances of the striking lecturers have received the attention of the president, stressing that government is determined to revamp the ailing education sector.
“I want to re-assure you that President Jonathan has mandated that this industrial strike by your teachers should be brought to an end. The grievances and demands of your teachers have received federal government attention.
” I want to re-assure you that the president of our great country is determined to make sure that education is revamped from the state he met it. It Is very painful that education system in this country over three decades has been in a state of decadence. It took the intervention of the President to restore normalcy in the sector and part of his Transformation Agenda is to make education the topmost priority of governance,” Wogu said. Speaking further, Wogu appealed to striking lecturers to go back to class as the government has shown commitment to meeting their demands. He said: “I will equally appeal to your lecturers since government has met part of their demands, they should because of these young students go back to school while we look at the other issues that cannot be concluded today.”
Speaking on behalf of the students, Adesina appealed to the minister to use his fatherly office to ensure that the on-going strike action is called off. “We understand and appreciate your efforts so far, especially the way your ministry has been handling this issues. We are here to appeal to your fatherly office sir. We want the strike to be called off. 2015 election is around the corner, we do not want any politician to use our students as political tugs. Our students are roaming the street, we are tired, we want to go back to campus,” Adesina appealed.
He also commended the efforts of President Jonathan in uplifting the standard of education in the country. The protesting students came at a time the minister was scheduled to meet with the executive of COEASU.
The Vice President of COEASU, Mr. Smart Olubeko, confirmed that meeting with the federal government is on-going. He affirmed that the end is in sight on the on-going strike action.
“Meeting is on-going and we can assure you that very soon this matter will be laid to rest.
The minister of labour has been the mediator and he has been doing all he could to ensure that this is brought to an end quickly.
We can assure you that at the end of today’s meeting we shall communicate to you,” Olubeko said.
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