Parents of university students in the country under the umbrella of the National Association of Parents Teachers Association (NAPTA), South West chapter, on Thursday threatened to embark on hunger strike if the federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) failed to resolve their differences over the current crisis.
The chairman of NAPTA, Pastor Julius Olaribigbe who addressed journalists in Osogbo after the inauguration of new executives of the state chapter of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) bemoaned the face off between ASUU and the federal government, describing it as embarrassing to the nation.
According to him, “Over 2 million parents across the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will embark on a national hunger strike if this situation should continue,” stressing that the federal government need to accede to ASUU demands in the interest of the down trodden parents.
While imploring President Goodluck Jonathan to constitute a special committee to dialogue with ASUU, with a view to ending the ongoing imbroglio between the two parties, Olaribigbe said the future and interest of the undergraduate students should be of paramount concern to the feuding parties in the crisis.
He stated, “When two elephants fight, the grasses will definitely suffer. This time round, it is the parents that are suffering. We are left with no other option than to appeal to the two parties to see reasons why the strike should end. But if the strike persists, we shall embark on hunger strike.”
Oluribigbe, however, chided the federal government for allowing the strike to drag on for too long, pointing out that “the federal government has a duty to ensure qualitative university education for all Nigerian children.”
He also called on well meaning Nigerians including traditional rulers and religious leaders to intervene in the current federal government and ASUU face off in the overall interest of the nation. Source: Tribune Newspaper