The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Felix Ajakaye, has appealed to the striking workers of Nigeria’s universities and the government to resolve the lingering crisis that has led to the closure of all public universities.
For more than 60 days, the striking lecturers and their non-academic counterparts have grounded learning activities at the nation’s public universities due to disagreement over welfare issues, among others.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is requesting the immediate deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) to replace the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as its payment platform.
Mr Ajakaye appealed to both parties to resolve the crisis as soon as possible, saying it will be in the interest of the students, parents and the country.
He made the call on Friday at the funeral mass held in honour of the immediate past vice-chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Adebiyi Daramola, a professor, at St Peters Peters Catholic Church, Okemesi, Ekiti State.
The clergyman said the crisis is causing serious discomfort, suffering and uncertainty among students and parents.
He, therefore, appealed to both sides to resolve the crisis in the interest of the students and future of the country.
He said: “Students, parents and the country are being adversely affected because of the fight between ASUU and FG. Both sides should devise a new way to resolve the crisis and save the country’s university system”.
He added that the time has come for “the managers of the country and Nigerians in general to have the right attitude and get our priorities right.”
Meanwhile, Mr Ajakaye described the former vice-chancellor as a God-fearing person who he said made his mark in the world of academics and contributed immensely to the development of his country.
Mr Daramola, who served as the vice-chancellor of FUTA between May 2012 and May 2017, died on Friday, March 25, at the age of 64.
“He left worthy legacies of excellent services in all his stations in life and particularly at FUTA where his legacies live on,” Mr Ajakaye said.
Qosim Suleiman is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe.