The Federal Government should address its face off with the Academic Staff Union of Universities before the 2023 elections to avoid bloodshed among students, a civil rights organisation under the aegis of Global Youth Skills Acquisition and Poverty Eradication Organisation has said.
While warning that students could be used for election violence and thuggery, the organisation said the advice became serious because an idle mind would be the devil’s workshop.
The chairman of GYSAPEO and human rights activist, Emmanuel Ozegbe, who sounded the warning during a press conference in Abuja, said a resolution of the impasse between the government and ASUU would return students to schools ahead of elections.
He warned that students could be ready tools for violence in the hands of politicians during general elections.
While saying that Nigeria was at crossroads at the moment, he, however, said the situation could be turned around with “our consistent and collective efforts.”
Ozegbe said, “Everyday, we record a lot of killings here and there and most of these our leaders are after is the 2023 elections, no talking about the killings and given that the people being killed are citizens, as an organisation, what we want to tell the people is that they should be alert, that the security of this country is not for the government and security agencies alone the corporate responsibility of us all.
“Talking about ASUU strike, a country that does not care about education cannot grow. Even though we know that the ASUU issue started long before this administration, we want to appeal to the Federal Government to listen to ASUU so that they can go back to school before the election because most of the students are already preparing to graduate.
“We appeal to the government to listen to ASUU’s demands with a view to suspending the strike to avoid bloodshed. The youths are looking for what to do and if someone comes to engage them, they will certainly agree.
“If the strike is not called off before election, these students at home as a result of the ASUU strike, will become willing tools for politicians to be used as thugs during the coming elections.”