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David Umahi who is the governor of Ebonyi State, proposed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), cease its five-month-long strike on Wednesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was asked by Umahi to divert the conversation in talks with the union leadership.
During a courtesy visit at his office in Abakaliki, the governor informed the board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF) of this. He bemoaned Nigeria’s health and education systems as well as the nation’s rising level of insecurity.
‘Our basic problem in the country remains security, health, and education. Let me say a little about the ASUU strike. I think that our educational system is improperly articulated. University education is not for everybody and that is the truth. The basic education that every country strives to attain is secondary and vocational schools.’ He stated
‘There is a need to review our educational system and it mustn’t be for everybody. I don’t see how we can’t sit down with ASUU leaders and iron out this ASUU strike. I have seen how painful it is for the students to sit at home instead of being in school. But there is no way the country Nigeria will go and borrow #1.1trillion to meet ASUU demands. It’s unreasonable.’
He further said: ‘Are ASUU’s demands genuine? yes. But we can start little by little. There must be a commitment on the side of both ASUU and the federal government. ASUU is not asking for this, for them to take to their house but for the betterment of our children. We can start by a fraction of that demands and have a program that we run with sincerity.’
Relatedly, the Governor expressed displeasure over the recent shooting at the Abuja Kuje detention facility, saying: ‘What happened in Abuja Kuje correctional center shouldn’t have happened. If the place has been wired with CCTV. It shouldn’t be.’
Umahi also described how he worked with the Ebonyi Police to put a halt to the sit-at-home protests and maintain law and order in the state’s 13 LGAs.
‘At a time we almost lost hope on our security system here. We can’t contest the fact that Ebonyi State remains the safest and most peaceful state, and there is no sit-at-home here. And it didn’t just come, we all fought it together and brought peace to our people. We didn’t kill them but we brought them back to our fold and reintegrate them’ he emphasized.
In a previous statement, the team’s head, Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, praised the governor for creating a favorable atmosphere for the police to function in Ebonyi state.
‘it has shown that a lot of things need to be done in the development of human and operational capacity of the Nigeria Police, in order to reposition it, to adequately face the security challenges facing the country.’ he said.