BY Ahmad Sahabi
Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, says the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) must unite to end the ongoing strike by the union.
Ogunwusi said this on Sunday while speaking to journalists on plans for the forthcoming Olojo festival.
The festival, an annual event in Ile-Ife, Osun state, is a celebration of the creation of humans.
The monarch said he will dedicate the annual seven-day seclusion which marks the begining of the Olojo festival to pray for the strike to end, and also for the 2023 general election.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the federal government’s failure to meet its demands, including on issues relating to the funding of universities and lecturers’ salaries and allowances.
“Youths are angry and no one can blame them for that. Just imagine the number of months they have been kept out of schools,” NAN quoted Ogunwusi as saying.
“ASUU and government must unite and end this, because we cannot handle the anger of youths if they go out of control.
“They have started blocking highways and even threatening to lock airports. That is an indication that they have been pushed to the wall.
“This is my seventh year on the throne and I have been serving humanity with special focus on youths in our country.
“During the recruitment process at the newly unveiled Ojaja More [shopping mall], over 50 percent of applicants were undergraduates, which speaks to the fact that the ASUU strike has done a lot of damage.
“It is avoidable and it should be ended by the government and ASUU for the benefit of our youths.
“Next year’s election is equally another strong prayer request with which I am proceeding into seclusion. I am praying that the process goes seamlessly acceptable to all for peace and prosperity of our land.”