• Vows no ASUU strike again

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, has said that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will have no cause to go on strike during his administration as Nigeria’s president if elected in 2023.

Obi assured that maintaining national security was still his top priority, saying without a secured environment, nothing could be accomplished. He also said that his presidency would negotiate with agitators and deal with recalcitrant and uncooperative ones.

The former Anambra State governor spoke on Friday at a TownHall engagement organised by University of Abuja Leadership Centre.

“There will never be an ASUU strike under my watch. People say it is impossible; As governor of Anambra State, I had ASUU strike. But I sat down with ASUU and the university management and told them, in their last eight month strike, Anambra State university didn’t not owe them a penny. And the ASUU president said, ‘because of Peter Obi’s decision in 2009, schools have not been closed.’ If schools are closed, Nigeria is closed.”

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He lamented that tertiary institutions were not being managed the way it should be done. “We have what is called Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND). We will ensure it is better managed. We will ensure loans for state universities,” he said.

On the allegation made by one of the candidates that fuel shortages and the redesign of the Naira were deliberate attempts to sabotage the upcoming election, Obi stated that his campaigns were based on issues rather than getting too involved in the positions of the candidates, but added that, since they were inside, they might know things that others did not.

If given the chance, he said he would abolish the petroleum subsidy on his first day in office, since it had turned into a massive corruption racket.  He said Nigeria was not producing anything rather than sharing monthly revenues: “And we want to remove the sharing formula and replace it with a Production Formula. We are attacking this country’s production based on the factor of employment.”

Obi, who described himself as the best candidate, told the students they must seize the opportunity to take back their country by insisting that character, competence and antecedents guide their decision, not religion, tribe and region or a false sense of entitlement.