By James Ogunnaike
The Primate of the African Church, Nigeria and Overseas, His Eminence, Julius Olayinka Abbe has admonished the federal government to urgently address all the demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) so that the 8-month old strike would be called off in the interest of of the students and the entire nation.
Primate Abbe gave the admonition while addressing journalists as part of activities to herald the 3RD Biennial Conference of the African Church, hosted by James Cathedral, Ajegunle, Anago Diocese, Ipokia local government area of Ogun State.
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He said part of the demand of the University lecturers demand is the improvement of facilities in public Universities in order for them to compete favourably with their counterparts in the world.
He said, “our lecturers are not just talking about their salaries and the IPPIS System, the improvement of the facilities in our institutions, the essence of research and research grants are among other demands”.
“All these affect both the lecturers and the students. We have been deceived by lip service for too long. Our institutions do not qualify to be ranked among the first 100 in the world. It is very unfortunate. Enough of politicking with our educational system”.
“I urge all those concerned with the ongoing meetings of government and ASUU to conclude and give life to all decisions before the end of the year. Year 2021 should start on a bright note for our institutions”.
Speaking on the recent #EndSARS protest that ravaged the country, the cleric described it as a wake up call to the nation’s political leaders to rise up to their responsibilities of providing dividends of democracy in all nooks and crannies of the country.
He said, “awake from your slumber and embark on your daily chores. This is the summary of the action by our youth”.
“These youths deserve our appreciation for serving as a catalyst to good governance. It is unfortunate that the ugly incident that was recorded at Lekki Toll Plaza took place. We commiserate with everyone who lost their loved ones and belongings in the course of the protest. We condemn in strong terms, the reprisal attack, which led to the destruction of our common heritage and innocent lives”.
“The import of the whole issue is that all those in position of governance should realize that the people are watching. Life of affluence is not the preserve of just a few. Let the dividends of governance spread across to the people. They have eyes to see. Know that it is a deceit for anyone to try to hide behind a finger. The Ostrich that hides its head must know that all other parts of the body are in the open. The people are watching. Let us reason together. Let us cherish and love one another”.
He noted that “our country is experiencing a most difficult time, almost on the edge of a precipice. To be candid, nothing seems to be working in the country. Imagine a man at 60 years still crawling. Nigeria is indeed a paradox. It is a country of five talents that is being governed by ‘one talent’ leaders. It is time for us to go back to the drawing board and amend our ways” .
On the signed CAMA law, Primate Abbe disclosed that though the motive of the government as regards CAMA is good, there is a need for every organization, be it religious or social to be registered under a regulatory body, he pointed out that some clauses found in the act that gave birth to the law are very worrisome.
“The described the provision that the government shall have powers to dismiss or dissolve the Board of Trustees of the organization if they are found wanting in any area of their duties as worrisome.
“Government also reserve the right to appoint a new board which may not have any relationship with the organization. What do you think would happen if a non-Christian is appointed as a trustee to take charge of a church? The answer is best imagined”.
He said government should address general issues in the country, which included food sufficiency, good and motorable road network, constant and steady power supply among others to rekindle the confidence level of the populace.