The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has called on all stakeholders in the education sector to intervene in the current face-off between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, which has plunged the university lecturers into strike.
The monarch, in a statement on Sunday, appealed to the two parties to consider the interest of the students and end the strike, which is six weeks old.
The Olubadan made the appeal during the courtesy visit on him at his Alarere palace by the executive members of the Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities led by its Chairman, Prof Ahmed Mora.
The monarch, who was a researcher at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said stakeholders in the education sector must work towards ensuring a quick resolution of the crisis.
ASUU is currently on an indefinite strike owing to the breakdown of negotiations between it and the Federal Government over the non-full implementation of the 2009 agreement entered into by the two parties and the welfare of its members.
The Olubadan urged alumni associations to use their positions either as individuals or corporately to reach out to the two parties in the dispute to sheath their swords and give room for an amicable resolution, noting that “where two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
He said, “I want to use this opportunity of having these august visitors around to appeal to both the Federal Government and ASUU to let the interest of our children be paramount in whatever decision they take.
“In whatever we do in life, time is of the essence and there has not been a mechanism to redeem any time lost, which is why all the parties involved in this current imbroglio must reach a compromise and end it for the sake of the children and their traumatised parents.”
The monarch had earlier called on the government and ASUU not to allow the issue to snowball into a full-blown strike when the universities’ lecturers served the notice of strike with a week-warning strike, lamenting that the call was not heeded.
Mora, in his address, said the visit, which was the concluding aspect of the CAANU’s delegates’ conference held in Ibadan, was to identify with the monarch and congratulate him on his accession to the throne.