Mr. Ribadu says the country risks losing its great talents to the ongoing face-off between ASUU and the Federal Government.
The presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in the 2011 election, Nuhu Ribadu, has lamented the ongoing strike by university lecturers in the country, under the auspices of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), describing it as a costly action for the country which should be resolved without further delay.
Speaking Saturday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Mr. Ribadu said the logjam created by the industrial action may deprive the country of the needed quality manpower as students rust away at home.
He called on both sides to “as a matter of urgency, bring the current lingering industrial action to an end.”
According to him, “Nobody wins in this supremacy game. Rather, the students, who are the proverbial grass in this fight of the elephants, are the ones paying direly for it. This also ultimately draw us back as a nation as a lot of potential talents could be wasted as this strike rage on.
“I therefore appeal to both sides to urgently come to amicable consensus that will reopen the doors for our students to get back to the class. No doubt, our universities need better funding but in pressing for that, caution should be applied so as not to asphyxiate the ailing patient.”
The pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) spoke at the public presentation of “Compendium of Anti-Corruption Laws in Nigeria” a book written by Barrister Chuma C. Chinye, who is also the Rivers State commissioner for commerce and industries.
Mr. Ribadu, who bemoaned poor quality of Nigerian law graduates, said there is the need to acquaint Law students with all the existing laws of the country, if they are to become useful to the justice sector.
“Those students who would come out to be Judges, Lawyers and Prosecutors need adequate and early exposure to these Laws if they are to contribute positively to the development of our justice sector. This is especially important in the light of embarrassing quality of Lawyers being churned out of our campuses, which is a reflection of the entire system.”
While urging all Nigerians to familiarise themselves with anti-corruption and financial crimes laws, Mr. Ribadu stressed that “These are laws that protect our commonwealth and also guide our conduct. They also adequately empower citizens to take action and raise the alarm when they suspect foul play”
He urged concerned authorities to make the extant laws available to promote awareness.
“However it is important to state that what we need at this time is to make these laws available not only for relevant stakeholders but to all Nigerians. Ignorance of the law, as the maxim goes, is not a defence. But it is only fair that these laws are made substantially available especially to address the appalling level of ignorance of the Law by those who should be applying it: members of the entire justice sector -the Police, the Courts, the Prosecutors, etc.”
Mr. Ribadu commended the writer of the book for “the patriotic and painstaking effort of compiling our existing anti-corruption laws. I had the privilege of going through the two-volume book and I am glad to report that it is an important addition to Law literature which would be found useful by all stakeholders in the justice system.”