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Negotiate with ASUP leaders, Nsukka residents urge FG

Some residents of Nsukka in Enugu State have appealed to the Federal Government to negotiate with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to end its strike action.

The residents also urged the government to continue to give prompt attention to education matters for the uplift of the country’s citizens.

Mr Chris Ukaegbu, a secondary school principal, told Newsmen in Nsukka that the government should accord education priority to help achieve the country’s vision 20:2020.

“Education is the engine house that will power the realization of Nigeria being among 20 world best economy in 2020.

“The Federal Government should negotiate with ASUP in order to resolve the misunderstanding in the interest of the sector.

“We should consider that youths who are our leaders of tomorrow are the ones suffering the strike,” he said.

Mrs Philo Ogummah, a civil servant, said government at all levels should avoid anything that would lead to strike in education sector, even if it were to happen in primary school.

She said continuous disruption of studies would adversely affect the condition of education in the country.

“It is undisputable that no country has achieved greatness without sound and quality education.

“I am surprised that the government did not resolve the issue during the warning strike of ASUP,” she said.

Ogummah, however, pleaded with the union to return to work in the interest of the students and parents who would suffer if the indefinite strike continued.

“ASUP should consider students and parents and call off the strike,” she said.

Mr Victor Ugwu, a bus driver, said allowing students of polytechnics to roam the streets as a result of the strike could increase the spate of insecurity in the country.

He urged the government to negotiate with the polytechnic lecturers in order to end the industrial action.

“Government should be careful not to create a situation that will add more problems to the insecurity challenges in the country.

“Government should consider academic future of Nigerian students in polytechnics and ensure that the strike is suspended before this week runs out,” he said.

It will be recalled that ASUP embarked on an indefinite strike on Monday after its seven-day warning strike.

The union alleged that the government failed to address its demands.

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