Mr. Saraki also asks the government not to toy with education if it is truly serious about developing the country.
Former Kwara state governor, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday said the time has come for the leadership and membership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to end the over four-month strike that has led to the disruption of academic activities in the nation’s universities.
Mr. Saraki, who was reacting to the death on Tuesday of renowned academics and former President of ASUU, Dr. Festus Iyayi, in a road accident, said the union should consider calling off the strike in his memory.
Mr. Iyayi was killed in the accident blamed on the convoy of the Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, in Lokoja, while on his way to Kano for the National Executive Council meeting of ASUU.
The NEC was to consider the proposal by President Goodluck Jonathan on ways to end the face-off with the Federal Government.
Mr. Saraki, who represents Kwara Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, told the union: “While there can be justifiable reasons to sustain the strike, the death of Iyayi has, obviously, changed the tune of the music.
“In his honour, even if all the terms and conditions for reopening our ivory towers have not been met by the government, you should consider the reopening of the universities.”
And to the Federal Government, Mr. Saraki, in the statement signed by his Media Office, said: “Education should not be toyed with by any government that is intent on developing the country.
“This is more so for a government that has proclaimed its desire to move the country from the label of a developing one to a developed nation.
“There is no sacrifice that is too much to be made in the bid to develop the country.
“All that is required to ensure that this our country with limitless potentials achieves the height of greatness is by being prudent in allocation and spending of our resources and commonwealth.
“The demands by ASUU are not out of place.
“It is for the good of the nation.”
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