A delegate to the National Conference, Mr. Yinka Gbadebo, has urged the National Conference to summon the Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, over ongoing strike of lecturers of polytechnics and colleges of education.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics have been on strike since October 2013, while the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union started industrial action in December 2013.
Gbadebo, who is the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, informed the conference how he saved the country from a national disgrace when students of the institutions attempted to storm the venue of the conference to stall the inauguration by President Goodluck Jonathan.
He lamented that nobody had discussed any issue that had direct bearing on the lives of Nigerian students at the conference.
Gbadebo said, ”Ninety per cent of us here never experienced strike in our days. May be that is why we are comfortable here without discussing the issues. In building the nation, our utmost priority should be education.”
He appealed to the conference to summon the Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, and the Presidents of COEASU and ASUP so that issues affecting students could be addressed.
According to him, Nigerian students would forever be grateful to the conference and it would be a monumental achievement if the conference could actualise that.
“May be, we can invite the madam at the ministry of petroleum and the oga of NNPC to bring part of the missing money so that our teachers can be settled and go back to the classrooms,” he said.
He also lamented that Vice-Chancellors were frustrating the activities of student union on campuses even though it was widely acknowledged that youths were leaders of tomorrow.
In his presentations, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, emphasised the need for restructuring in government, poverty eradication, and investment in education and science and technology to make Nigeria competitive.
A former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana., explained that the President’s desire for the conference was for a more united, peaceful and prosperous nation.