Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has made a passionate appeal to the organised labour to prevail on the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to call off their strike.
The Vice President also urged ASUU to embrace the path of dialogue, in resolving the crisis necessitating the strike actions.
The appeal came just as the VP was making a remark at the 2022 May Day commemoration at the Eagle Square, Abuja on Sunday.
He said, “We are not unmindful of the anxieties of our children and their parents who are plagued by thoughts of an uncertain future as they stay home because their universities have been shut by an industrial action. I appeal to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the broader labour community to seek the path of dialogue. Disagreement and debate have always been part of the relationship between labour and the government.
“Even as we disagree today, we must not do so as mortal adversaries but as members of the same progressive family. We both want the same thing – a country that works for all and offers each citizen a fair deal – even if occasionally we differ on how to achieve this goal. But at all times, we have through dialogue found a path forward.
“It is in this spirit that I call on ASUU to embrace dialogue with the Government and I call on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to help facilitate a resolution of this dispute through dialogue. I believe that we can find a path forward in good faith. And this is what we will do”.
On job creation and opportunities, Osinbajo advocated a change in work ethics, saying it will instill better productivity for the good of the entire country.
“The progressive vision of inclusive growth and shared prosperity requires a revolution in our national productivity and our work ethic. On the part of the government, this means ensuring that every citizen has the opportunity to work, achieve productive personhood and participate in the development of their communities.
“But beyond this, it means that we must as a people commit to an ethos of high productivity and innovation, and of using technology to transform the way we work and do business. We cannot achieve this without a workforce that is attuned to optimizing our possibilities”.
Speaking on security challenges bedeviling the country, he said the government is re-engineering our security architecture with greater focus on technology and modern force multiplier platforms.
Encouraging the workers, he said, “Nations are built by people. And Nigeria is being built through the everyday honest toil of hardworking Nigerians – men and women like you gathered here today. You keep the engines of our country running despite the challenges we face. You are the strength and the hope of our nation. Whatever heights of greatness we achieve as a people will be because of your contributions to our national enterprise. I therefore urge you, as fellow progressives, to make common cause with us as we prepare to write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress. And that future is here and it is bright”.
Recall that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is almost serving out a second term in office with his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari is a frontline contender for the presidency in 2023.
He has been going round the country wooing delegates that will take part in the primary elections slated for this month.
ASUU has been on strike for almost three months, throwing the nation’s universities into uncertainties, while the government insists most of the demands raised by the union have been met, ASUU has held its ground not to resume academic activities.