The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday urged Nigerians to pressurise the Federal Government to do the needful by investing in public education in 2019 to end the ongoing strike.
The union also warned government not to be distracted by the business of 2019 elections in its struggle to have revitalized public universities.
The ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Dr Deji Omole, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan, Oyo state.
According to him, private universities or schools are not alternative to public schools which take care of the majority of have-nots.
Omole who admonished Nigerians to continue to support the ongoing ASUU strike added that the strike was necessary to mitigate impending doom being planned by the ruling class to befall public education.
On 2019 elections, the ASUU boss maintained that it was not ready to be distracted by elections, saying as patriots, it would not be disturbed in its struggle by the business of election.
Omole stated that Nigerians are only interested in credible elections and not the participation of lecturers from the ivory towers.
He added that INEC can recruit ad-hoc staff from eligible Nigerians who are in their millions.
“Whoever fills he wants to participate in the elections can go and participate in the election. If you check in the letter addressed to individuals who have participated in the past, the letter is addressed to individuals and not to ASUU.
“We would not be disturbed by the business of elections. We are ready to pursue this struggle to a logical conclusion irrespective of whether there is election or not. We are not part of INEC.
“INEC can look elsewhere for adhoc staff to conduct the election. What Nigerians are only interested in is: will that election be credible or not?
“Even when we were not on strike, not all our members are interested in participating in the elections. So it is a voluntary thing. Our demand is sacrosanct to us.
“The demand is that the MoA of 2017 should be implemented and once we see the commitment of government, our leadership will bring it back to us at chapters and we would take it to our congresses and redirect to national for necessary action.
“Nigerians should continue to put pressure on government to do the needful by investing more in publicly funded education. Private education or schools is not an alternative to public schools. And we should all support this struggle to salvage the university system in Nigeria,” he said.