BY SIMON UTEBOR, YENAGOA
Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has called for the disbandment of the national body of the Academic Staff Union of University.
He described the methods adopted by ASUU as immoral and self-enrichment.
Okoh spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Thursday, during the Standing Committee Meeting of the Bishops Conference of the church.
He said, “The government should find a way either to privatise the universities or get ASUU to be limited to individual universities such that there will be no national ASUU body mandating even institutions without grievances to go on strike.
“There is no such body anywhere in the world. Challenges facing any institution should be treated locally without involving others.
“While the ASUU strike lasts, university lecturers are busy teaching in private universities (most of which lack lecturers) and earning money and when the strike is over, they will still be paid for the period of the strike.
“This is highly immoral and must be discouraged.”
He commended the strides of President Goodluck Jonathan in the areas of road network, turn around maintenance of airports, railways and power supply.
As a short term measure, Okoh urged government to accede to the demands of ASUU, describing the academic, moral and social implications of the strike as enormous.
He cautioned politicians about working for external detractors who had earlier predicted the disintegration of Nigeria in 2015.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure honesty and transparency while discharging its responsibility to the nation.
“INEC should rise above regional, ethnic, religious partisanship and deliver to Nigerians, the truth, the whole truth and nothing short of that,” Okoh said.
The cleric insisted that despite the ongoing power-play, leaders must maintain the unity of the country.
He appealed to the youths to avoid violence and other political vices while taking part in politics ahead of 2015.
Okoh said, “We make a sincere appeal to politicians as they plan, disagree, challenge one another and engage in high political maneuvering, to ensure that the entity called Nigeria is spared from harm.
“We should not walk into the traps of our external detractors who had already predicted a break-up of the country in 2015.”
“We appeal to our youths to take part in politics but steer clear of political thuggery. You should not allow yourselves to be used for assassination, arson, kidnapping, maiming, looting, intimidation of opponents.
“Don’t die for any political party or any candidate because Nigeria needs you tomorrow.”