By Dennis Agbo
An honourary doctorate degree recipient from Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, AE-FUNAI, Ebonyi state, Dr. Anayo Onwuegbu has appealed to lecturers who are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to sheathe their sword and resume academic activities for the sake of security of the country.
Onwuegbu said that for the young population of Nigeria to be out of school for nine months posed serious security threat to the country, adding that the parties at the receiving end in the impasse were every Nigerian.
He said that he had the opportunity of listening to both sides of the argument between the federal government and ASUU and came to a conclusion that ASUU should succumb to their pleas of Nigerians and resume academic activities in the universities for sake of not deteriorating an already bad security situation in Nigeria.
Onwuegbu made the appeal shortly after his conferment of Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) at 5th special convocation of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, AE-FUNAI, on Tuesday.
Onwuegbu said: “Even when we were having a tete-tete with the minister for Education, before the award, and Prof. Osita Ogbu is of the ASUU side while the minister for Education, Nwajuba, is on the government side, and I happened to be mediating between the two and for the first I saw the government side. The government has made a wonderful gesture and I think that well meaning Nigerians need to intervene and talk to ASUU. It’s high time they tried to thinker about their hard posture.
“You can never wish away that the country is going through a very excruciating period of economic turn down. So I would rather add my voice to those who have been calling on ASUU to have a rethink and embrace the offer the federal government has made and return back to the classrooms because after all said and done we are still Nigerians and our children are the ones bearing the brunt.
“Nine months out of school is very dangerous not just to the learning system but very dangerous to the security system of this country.”
On behalf of other recipients of the award, Onwuegbu expressed appreciation to the university community and prayed for the growth of the university. “We want to promise that having become part of the university, we shall continue to make contributions to the development of the university,”
Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Chinedum Nwajumba said that AE-FUNAI became the first university in Nigeria to establish a solar plant with 24 hours power supply.
“Onwuegbu has committed his personal resources to the development of the university and I suggest that the universities should be stopped from going on strikes at least for a decade,” Nwajuba said.