Former Anambra governor and presidential hopeful on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi has stated that it is sad that federal universities are on strike while politicians are campaigning for the 2023 elections.
Obi said this on Wednesday while appearing as a guest on the Berekete family radio in Abuja.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is currently on strike over the federal government’s failure to honour an agreement on issues bordering on funding universities, as well as salaries and allowances of lecturers.
According to Obi, such a situation in which students are not attending classes and election campaigns are ongoing can only happen in Nigeria.
“It is very very sad. It is intolerable that schools are closed and we are campaigning and we are even talking about elections. It would never happen in any other country except Nigeria,” he said.
“Education is the most important investment a nation can do for its citizens, which we are playing with here.
“The scourge of this problem is because we have an uncaring government. The agreement was made in 2009 that they will give universities N1 trillion to renovate universities, and that they will pay lecturers’ allowances.
“If they were to be paying N100 million yearly, the payment would have been paid in full. Even N50 million yearly would have done it to some extent.”
He said the ASUU strike shows the inability of the government to keep to agreements.
“The problem is the government made empty promises. So, this made everyone fight. Money collected from presidential aspirants can feed ASUU’s demands,” he added.
Obi stated that if he is elected to rule the country, he will make primary and secondary education free, but not for tertiary level.
“I won’t make tertiary education free. Primary and secondary will be free, but we must find a way to fund tertiary education,” he said.