Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has called on the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), describing it as “tragic”.
Badejo stated this on Friday in a message he sent to Nigerians ahead of the 62nd anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence.
He also said in the statement that the leaders holding public offices must not suspend governance because of the campaign season ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Nigeria gained independence from her colonial ruler, the British Govrrnment, on Oct.1,2022.
The cleric said that solving the strike was a priority, adding that ASUU and the government needed to shift grounds and avoid any arm-twisting techniques that would worsen the situation.
ASUU has been on strike since February over poor infrastructure in public universities and other issues. It has forced students to be at home also.
According to him, Nigeria and Nigerians deserve a new burst of hope as another anniversary of the country’s independence is being celebrated.
“Most Nigerians today are angry and frustrated by one thing or the other; the ASUU strike, insecurity, crippling economy, bad roads, poor governance, among other ills.
“The numerous challenges we face need no re-enumeration and I call on all Nigerians to re-focus their energies on charting the new dawn ahead.
“All of us, politicians and citizens, must save Nigeria standing at this tipping point and behave accordingly,” he said.
The bishop urged leaders, the executive, legislature and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to get on the side of equity, truth and justice and rehabilitate the country.
He said that some of the country’s challenges could simply not wait for the next regime to resolve.
The clergyman also advised political office holders not to suspend governance because of the campaign season.
On his part, the government must be multitasking and proffer solutions even as campaigns are ongoing, he said.
He added, “Politicians must commit to non-violence and learn to disagree without being disagreeable so as not to set fire to the tinder of public disaffection all around.
“They must sincerely embrace the rule of law and avoid double speak. Politicking must be mutually respectful and shun false and hate rhetoric which heat up the polity.”
Badejo also urged civil society organisations to support the new energy for positive change which was enveloping the country, especially, youths.
He added that citizens must demand an issue-based campaign from aspiring leaders, and exercise their civic rights.
This, he said, should include voting at the elections and holding elected leaders accountable after elections.
“I exhort the electorate, this is your time, seize it and demand integrity, accountability, and commitment to fair, good governance from all contestants.
“We must never stop believing in a better Nigeria,” Badejo said. (NAN)