Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, has asked parents to beg the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shelf their strike so that the nation’s public universities can be re-opened.
Shehu also condemned the recent extension of the strike by four weeks, saying that the government is trying to meet some of the demands given by the lecturers.
According to Shehu, the extension of the industrial action came at a time the president is giving full commitment to resolving the ASUU strike.
The presidential spokesman said this on Saturday on the sidelines of the 11th graduation ceremony of Glisten International Academy, in Abuja.
He, however, urged ASUU to give the Federal Government a benefit of the doubt in solving the problems that led to the strike.
Shehu said: “It came like a bolt in the sky. We are shocked because it came at a time the president is giving full commitment to resolving the ASUU strike and having the students and teachers back in the school.
The extension, I believe, should not have been done because the spirit in which the government now is trying to resolve the problems of ASUU is such that there should also be a benefit of the doubt in favour of the government on the part of ASUU.
The strike is unnecessarily extended and this should not have been the case.
I want to advise parents to join the government in begging ASUU to end this strike, as the government is doing its part and parents are worried and they should start talking to ASUU.”
Shehu’s comments come hours after the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had accused ASUU of being unrealistic with their demands.
Keyamo said the government can’t borrow money to pay the striking members of ASUU amidst cash shortages when other sectors of the economy also need attention.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said all concerned persons should appeal to ASUU to in the spirit of national interest, reconsider their stand.