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Old video emerges of Buhari chiding GEJ for not tackling ASUU strike while wasting money on frivolous projects



As the strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other related organisations in tertiary institutions in the country lingers, an old video of President Muhammadu Buhari criticizing the Goodluck Jonathan government on the same issue has emerged on the internet.

With the President Buhari-led administration not anywhere close to reaching an agreement with the unions to solve the impasse, an old video has been dug up by Nigerians where Buhari was heard castigating then President Jonathan’s administration for wasting money on non priorities instead of negotiating with the unions to call off the strike so that students could go back to their schools.

While speaking on the 2014 National Conference convened by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Buhari picked holes with the timing of the confab which came at a time ASUU, Polytechnic lecturers and other arms of tertiary institutions unions were on strike.

Buhari faulted the confab for earmarking the sum on N7 billion for the confab, saying a serious government would not spend so much money on frivolity while the tertiary institutions workers were on strike.

“If you could recall, at the time the government said it was voting N7b for the conference, ASUU was on strike. And teachers of other tertiary institutions, like the polytechnics were on strike.

“This strike was on for almost an academic year and a serious government, if they had N7b to throw about, would go and negotiate with ASUU and the teachers organisations and the teachers unions of the tertiary institutions of the polytechnics downwards so that our children will remain in schools.

“The National Assembly is there if you want to amend the constitution so why go and take N7b that we could not afford when our children are on the streets? I think this government has the capacity for wrong priorities that are hurting us as a nation.”

Read also:NANS reveals Nigerian students ‘battle-ready’ in order to end ASUU strike

But with the emergence of the old video, the same issues that Buhari frowned at in the interview seem not to have been addressed like he promised as the ruling APC government, and the Ministers of Education and Labour respectively, have also failed to address the lingering issues affecting the striking unions.

The video has also raised concerns in many Nigerians whether the Buhari government is also a serious government like he accused the GEJ government of not being serious.

The present government is also guilty of prioritising irrelevant issues instead of doing everything possible to curtail the ASUU strike which is going into its third month month.

Nigerians, especially parents who have their children and wards in the universities, are disenchanted with the way the Buhari government has handled the strike action especially as the administration seems to have now prioritised the 2023 elections ahead of every other issues in governance.

Many Nigerians are also wondering where the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, the Minister of State in the Education ministry, Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, sitting governors and other political appointees in the same government are suddenly able to raise the N100 million for the party’s nomination forms when the same government could not come up with the funds required to settle the ASUU crisis.

ASUU had embarked on a roll-over strike from December 2020 to February 14 when it accused the government of failing to deliver on the agreement that led to the suspension of the strike in 2020, and since it downed tools, the government seems not to be interested in meeting their demands but all its effort are geared towards the 2023 elections.

After initially calling a truce in the impasse between the government and ASUU, the body began another strike to force government to implement the outstanding 2009 agreements on revitalization funding, earned academic allowances, proliferation of universities and sign a re-negotiated agreement with the union.

But despite assurances by the government on different occasions that all the agreements entered into with ASUUS would be met by government, nothing has been done to paint the Buhari regime as a responsible government.

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