Group lauds Obaseki over suspension of staff unions in state-owned tertiary institutions

By Isaac Olamikan

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Esan Agenda, has commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki over the suspension of staff unions in Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma and other institutions of higher learning across the state.

The group, in a statement by the convener, Mr. Akhere Obozele, said the move is a welcome development which will assuage the suffering of thousands of students schooling in state-owned tertiary institutions across the state. He noted that the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has proved too expensive for students and such a move was necessary to restore sanity to the system.

According to him, “We at Esan Agenda are solidly behind the governor over his move to suspend staff unions across the state-owned tertiary institutions. The unions in Edo State have no valid reason to join the strike with the directives contained in the government’s announcement.

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“The government has directed the immediate payment of outstanding salaries, which is one of the key contentions of the unions. So, there is no reason to keep the students at home anymore.”

Obozele continued: “Esan Agenda, as a patriotic body, welcomes any pragmatic move being taken to ensure that students complete their studies in stipulated time as they are the biggest casualties from any strike by staff unions. “It is also important to point to the fact that outside the issues at Ambrose Alli University, the Edo State Polytechnic has been at loggerheads with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) members at the school. This is why this move is needed to restore sanity to the system especially in instances where the proceeds of these strike actions do not bear significant weight in improving the teaching and learning conditions in state schools but are rather aimed at frustrating efforts at bringing about positive change implemented by the government and management of these institutions.”

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