The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar has said the eight months strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), had very negative psychological and emotional effect on students.
According to Sultan, the strike was unnecessary, unfortunate and very sad as it could have been avoided through continuous and effective communication.
Sultan Abubarkar, speaking before the commissioning a 25-Bedroom Guest House donated by the family of Late Justice Bola Babalakin to Fountain University, Osogbo on Wednesday, stressed the importance of dialogue between the leaders and the public.
He said, “We just came out of an unfortunate eight months ASUU strike. I believe it is very sad and frustrating. But these are things that we could have avoided by continuously talking because it is not today that ASUU started having problems with the government and they will never stop having problems with the government.
“So when you have problem with anyone, what you should do is to sit down and dialogue in an honest way and once you have agreed on any terms please try to implement your agreement.
“But if you think you can not, come back to the table again and discuss more, then you can have other alternatives to solve the problem. Not embarking on strike that will affect the children, I know how our children have been affected psychologically and emotionally by the 8 months strike, I think that is not good for us.
“I have been pleading with ASUU, I have been part of negotiation team with ASUU at the federal government level and I know what we have discussed, there are things that we could have done more to be honest with one another in ensuring that our children whom we all care for remain in school and graduate at the right time.
“No matter how bad a university is, the school turns out thousands of graduates who are excellent and brilliant, why do we have to continue fighting over some little issues, the government can not fund all educational issues, people should come out and help to fund public tertiary institutions so that we can have a better situation in our schools, especially our universities”, he added
While corroborating the Sultan, Wale Babalakin, SAN, whose family donated the guest house to the university, maintained that educational institutions must find ways of generating revenue from sources that will not detract from their primary goal of providing very good education for the students.
He said, “the reasons for the project in the school was compliment our father’s serious passion for education. Our father, Justice Bola Babalakin always sought to educate everyone around him.
“For any discerning person in the education sector, it is very clear that Government at all levels, as structured today, cannot singlehandedly fund education. The resources required to fund a proper education system are simply not there or are not easily available.
“For this reason, educational institutions especially tertiary institutions must continue to find ways of generating revenue from sources that will not detract from their primary goal of providing very good education for the students.”
In his remark, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola commended the donor family for the gesture and urged the benefitting institution to make judicious use of the project to the benefit of the school.