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ASUU strike: Labour accuses Egwu of insensitivity

By Victor Ahiuma-young
TRADE Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has accused the Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu, of insensitivity to the crises in the nation’s educational sector especially the university, where all academic and other activities have been shut down for weeks due to industrial action by lecturers and other workers.

The umbrella body for senior staff associations in the country is, therefore, calling on President Umaru Yar’Adua to dismiss him from office for alleged usuriousness.

TUC in a statement by its President-General, Comrade Peter Esele, lamented that where most concerned Nigerians and parents were seeking efforts to see to the immediate end to the crisis in the nation’s university education, the Minister was allegedly going from one social party to another as if everything was fine.

TUC said it was a sad and sorry site to see Egwu in company of the Senate President, Chief David Mark; Minister for Information, Dr Dora Akunyili and other Federal Government officials dancing away at his lavish birthday bash when academic activities at the nation’s public universities are at a standstill over the failure of the minister and his co-travellers to sign their own part of agreement entered into with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

According to the statement: “We would love to ask the minister to state his motives for staging such an expensive party and what message he is portraying to the outside world and the Nigerian students whom his has denied access to quality education. Is it to show the ‘I-dey-kampe’ attitude of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), government or as a form of mockery to his former colleagues that he has finally arrived, having served as governor and now minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?”

TUC, therefore, called on ‘all trade unions, student bodies as well as members of civil society organisations in the country to rise with one voice and condemn this unbecoming and uncaring attitude of Dr Egwu and other public office holders and demand that they subject themselves as public servants and not as lords.

“The congress also commends the courage of Mr. Igo Aguma, Chairman of the House Committee on Gas Resources, for urging  members to probe of the source of N120 million the minister allegedly spent on the event. We expect the Senate to tow this part and compel President Yar’Adua to sack him without further delay.

“ASUU’s demands are legitimate and bold steps that will change the face of our universities to attract foreign students into our folds as well as serve as foreign exchange earner for the country,” it said.


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