by Segun Odeleye
During Sunday’s presidential media chat, President Goodluck Jonathan responded to questions regarding his leadership in the handling of the strike action embarked upon the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The ASUU strike has led to a situation in which state and federal owned universities have been shut down for the past three months.
Jonathan criticised the union in strong terms and alleged that the strike action has become politicised.
But in a reaction on Monday, ASUU described Jonathan’s comments during the media chat as empty and less comforting. Speaking through Dr. Olusegun Ajiboye, the chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of the union, ASUU said that Nigerians further saw through the media chat that President Jonathan is clueless on how to solve pressing problems of insecurity, corruption and the comatose education sector.
ASUU’s statement titled: “Nigeria at 53: No message of hope for Nigerians Yet,” stated that the media chat was empty and offered no solutions.
The union asked Nigerians to prevail upon “this government to consider the poor and the children of the poor by giving the needed and necessary attention to public education in Nigeria.”
ASUU said the presidential team needs to work on the president to bring messages of hope and not dampen the morale of the already dejected Nigerians.
He said: “Nigerians were all disappointed at President Jonathan’s media chat on the eve on the 53rd independence anniversary of the country. Many Nigerians expected their President to come out with practical solutions and cogent policy statements on urgent, burning national issues were greatly disappointed at the drab media chat. The President cannot be quoted on any of the issues raised during the interview. Most of his answers were not only evasive but lame. Critical issues, such as Boko Haram insurgency, lingering ASUU strike were all treated with mere disdain by the President. The closure of Nigerian universities for upwards of three months received a lackadaisical treatment from Mr. President.
“Nigerians were at sea when their President and Commander- in- Chief was asked questions on one Boko Haram leader, and the President could only replied that “I don’t know him”. Mr. President, do you need to sit down in town hall meetings before you know the terrorists inflicting lots of pains and agonies on your people daily? Did Obama need to know Osama bin Laden before he took decisive action to end his reign of terror?”