The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, has decried the neglect of the education sector by the federal government, lamenting the prolonged and recurring strikes by university workers who include the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) members. Obi, accordingly, advocated blanket ban on public officers in Nigeria from attending trainings in foreign countries with taxpayers’ money while workers in the public universities engage on perennial strike.
While university strikes persisted in Nigeria over the past five months, public officers in Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), participated in advanced leadership programme of Judge Business School (JBS) at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon, Femi Gbajabiamila, mocked the university teachers when he shared his pictures taking a course at Harvard University, which culminated in caustic criticisms, and subsequent apology by the Speaker, admitting insensitive display.
Obi in several tweets on his official twitter handle Peter Obi @PeterObi wrote: “Our public universities have been shut since 14 February, some five months and counting.
“Our students and future leaders are idling away at homes or in some undesirable places, while our government is spending millions in foreign currency, supposedly training public office holders in Ivy League universities across the world.
“Through such policy neglect, we are unwittingly breeding some societal misfits who will someday embark on vendettas and take revenge on our society.
“As a matter of adaptive leadership, such trainings being sponsored with public funds should stop forthwith, until all our schools start functioning optimally.”