The Lingering strike of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) if not quickly resolved will have a negative impact on the educational sector of the country for a long time.
This was the view of Mr. Nwokezi John Ikoro, a senior lecturer with the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnics, Rumuola, Port Harcourt in course of receiving an Award of Excellence from media consultants for his contributions in the society.
He said the adverse effect will rub off both on the students’ output and the country’s productivity in future.
He further observed that since education is the best form of sustainable development, ignoring the Union leaders or playing politics with the strike will only boomerang into social vices that will be costly to tame in the near future.
He lamented the inability of the Prof. Nimi Briggs negotiation panel to passionately consider all sides of the contending issues especially according to Ikoro, they are mainly on the improvement of the structural education sector in general and the tertiary institution in particular.
Mr. Nwokezi suggested that the Federal Government should rather intensify effort on what he called a strategic communication in engaging the stakeholders to solve the lingering crisis for the sake of the suffering students who are the leaders of tomorrow. He also suggested a change of the FG negotiating team.
Asked to state the aim of Unionism, the former Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Captain Elechi Amadi chapter explained that the aim is nothing but for the protection and enhancement of their members welfare as well as removing hindrances or challenges in the discharge of their duties.
He confirmed that the relationship between his union ASUP and the School Management are very cordial and that the Rector, Dr. Samuel Kalagbor in particular is a very good administrator with a listening ear, explaining that perhaps it could be because he is an internally generated Rector, having passed through the ranks to emerge.
He equally used the opportunity to appreciate the media consultants who deemed it fit to consider him for an Award for his little contributions in the society, adding that he never knew that some persons were taking notice of him and promised that it will spur him to do more.
Mr. Nwokezi who is believed to have travelled widely with loads of experience also used the chance to reel out his achievements as the PRO of his Union to includes erecting and furnishing a gigantic “ASUP Club Legacy House” housing their union’s canteen among other facilities.
Paying off their debts for their retired or departed colleagues; organizing some trainings on the union’s activities; successfully hosting their zone ‘D’ Zonal meeting of the union; ensuring that reluctant or recalcitrant members are whipped into the line as well as ensuring that their retirement age was amended upward to 65 years from 60 years.
A former grassroots roving journalist, Nwokezi is about completing his PHD thesis also listed some of his regime’s challenges while in office to include poor attitude of members in attending meetings’ inadequate office space for academic staff; clearing of payment arrears due their deserving retired members as well as pursuance of their matter in court over trespassers on their landed properties.