The Coalition of Southern and Middle Belt Youth Leaders Assembly, COSMBYLA, has given the Federal Government seven-day ultimatum to resolve dispute with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to enable Nigerian students return back to school or face a mass protest by the youths and students.
The coalition condemned the failure of the Federal Government to honor agreements reached with striking university lecturers and workers insisting that the strike has been allowed to linger because most Nigerian leaders do not have their children in public universities.
The coalition issued the ultimatum in a statement, Monday in Makurdi, jointly signed by the President General, Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, Goodluck Ibem; President, Benue Youth Forum/Coodinator Forum of Middle Belt Youth Presidents, Terrence Kuanum, Coordinator, South West Forum of South West Youth Leaders Forum, Shittu Waheed and the President, South South Youth Forum, Tito Zuokumor.
The umbrella body of youth groups said it was “unacceptable for the government to deliberately refuse to honour its agreement with ASUU while members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, keep doling out N100million with ease to purchase presidential nomination forms.”
The statement read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s government’s reason for ignoring ASUU or refusal to honour its agreement with them is obvious.
“Their children are not studying in any of our Nigerian public universities so even if our students stay in homes for the next four years without going to school, it is non of their concern because their children are not affected by the strike.
“It is a sad development because any country that plays with her educational system is definitely heading for the rocks. Nations with clear cut vision for growth and development do not joke with their educational system; but here we are in a country that throws caution to the wind on a very serious matter like education.
“Our leaders must realize that developed nations got to where they are because of the seriousness and commitment their leaders attached to education. No nation can grow with interrupted educational system. If the academic calendar is frequently tempered with, it means a serious drawback to progress and development.
“As youths leaders of our dear nation, we are no longer comfortable with the ongoing strike in the country, we demand that the children of our political leaders and appointees studying abroad be brought back and enrolled to study in Nigeria.
“It is evidently clear that the money they are using to train their children abroad is a proceed of the money meant for the development of our educational system which they looted to send their children abroad for studies leaving the children of the masses at home without going to school.
“All students, our youths and all lovers of democracy who mean well for our nation must rise up now and say no to these policies of backwardness by this administration because they are no plans to ensure Nigerian students and their lecturers go back to school.
“We therefore give the Federal Government a seven day ultimatum to resolve the ASUU strike or face mass protests by Nigerian students and youths. The time is counting.”