The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has described the continuous strike actions of the Academic Staff Union of universities and the poor handling by the Federal government as unacceptable.
Newsonline reports that the Catholic Bishops also condemned the resort to court actions by the Federal government instead of finding an out-of-court solution.
This was disclosed in a communique issued at the end of the Second Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the Sacred Heart Pastoral/Retreat Centre, Orlu, Imo State, 8 – 16 September, 2022.
Part of the communique read: “The protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since 14 February 2022 is unacceptable. ASUU has cited the non-implementation of agreements by the Federal Government as the cause. We know that efforts have been made to resolve the matter.
“However, we believe that a resort to courts may not be the best and fastest way to solve the problem. Therefore, we renew our call on the Federal Government and the ASUU to find a quicker and better way of resolving the matters under contention so that public universities will reopen.”
ASUU went on strike on the 14 of February demanding an improvement of funding for public universities and the education sector by the government and implementation of the 2009 agreement on education.
Both ASUU and the President Buhari-led Federal government are yet to find a common ground to return students who have been at home since February to school.
The Federal government said it would not pay ASUU members salaries for the six months they were on strike, a move ASUU rejected.
The government stopped paying the university lecturers’ salaries since they went on strike in February.
However, the 2023 Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, described the decision of the government as unjustifiable.
Sowore argued for ASUU, “They can’t pay ASUU because they did not work for six months, yet they have been paying refineries workers for over 10 years now even when they haven’t refined a drop of gasoline.”