Friday, December 6, 2013

Don’t politicise ASUU strike, Maku tells APC

The Minister appealed to the striking lecturers to accept government's offer.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, on Friday called on the
leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) not to politicise the
current strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Mr. Maku made the call in Abuja while fielding questions from
journalists on the occasion of the monthly news conference organised
by the ministry.
He said that rather than criticise the government for allegedly
failing to address the issues raised by the striking lecturers, the
party should come out with better ways of ending the dispute.
Mr. Maku, who was critical of the party's position on the strike, said
that no previous government had invested more money in education than
the President Goodluck Jonathan administration had done in the past
three years.
"My advice to APC is to bring a new policy argument that will be
better than what we have at the moment rather than dragging politics
into everything.
"Politicians aspiring to run for elective position should offer us
alternative policies and not to undermine our efforts.
"I stand to be challenged, no government in the history of this
country has put more money into education than the current
government,'' he said.
The minister dismissed claims that the leadership of ASUU collected
money from opposition politicians to go on with the strike, saying
that the lecturers were persons of integrity that could not be bought.
According to him, the lecturers went on strike with the conviction to
address the lingering problems of underfunding in the education
He appealed to the union to consider government's offer and end the
strike in the interest of students and the development of the
education sector.
Answering a question on late former South African president Nelson
Mandela, Mr. Maku said African leaders should learn from his humility,
dedication and simple life style.
He said that Mandela, who died on Thursday at 95, would be missed for
his love for Africa and the pursuit of peace and development of the
Mandela died on Dec. 5 after a protracted illness.

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