The declaration of intention to run for presidency in 2023 has taken its toll on Nigerians, especially students who have stayed home for three months due to the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, industrial action.
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, embarked on strike in February over the failure of the Federal Government to address their concerns.
Despite lingering strike action, ministers under this administration have declared intentions to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari without proffering any solution to the lingering strike action.
The numbers of presidential aspirants have continued to increase daily while ASUU and the government fail to reach a truce.
Under the APC alone, presidential aspirants include: Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu; Rotimi Amaechi, who is the minister of transportation; Dave Umahi, Ebonyi state governor; Rochas Okorocha, Imo West senator; Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi state; Emeka Nwajiuba, minister of state for education. Others are Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo state; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti state governor; Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta and Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.
This, however, has not gone down well with Nigerians who took to their social media pages describing the presidential aspirants as selfish, with all focus on election and having no regard for education in the country.
Here are some reactions gathered from Twitter;
@Arekunmi: “None of these aspirants has even used “ending the ASUU strike card” in their declaration campaigns. That’s how low the regard for education is for these guys. We are not even asking you to end the strike…at least have some decency by using it to campaign. Like, at least lie.”
@AdaramolaRichard: “To be frank, it is selfishness and even stupidity, running for presidency while students are on strike. Message to all presidential candidates!”
@Trinityboii: “Students still dey house and strike not called off and all these men in power are all going for presidency. What is your plan, misplaced priority? Is it that these men in power are cursed. God help us oh.”
@NwanneObi: “It is obvious that this government does not care about our students as already demonstrated. From Labor to Education all interested in presidency despite the many months of strike. Mobilize your members and students to chase them away.”
@NwanjiInnocent: “It’s sad at this point that the Ministers for Education and Labour have left ASUU and Nigerian students to jostle for the 2023 presidency. When this is all over, they will find a way to defend this mediocrity.”
@Aniefiokdebest: “The multiple declarations for the 2023 presidency by politicians has turned the exercise to a child’s play. For goodness sake, how can individuals who cannot solve common ASUU strike, pay workers salary, implement the N30, 00 minimum wage be declaring for president? Jokers!”
@Teju: “It’s so unfortunate that we have an irresponsible government in this country. A government that’s more focused on 2023 election than the education and success of its students! This government is willing to kill the education sector and is trying hard to make us illiterates!”
@99_AMC: “No money to pay ASUU but there’s 100m for the presidential form. Has any of them even addressed this strike while doing their declaration of interest in the presidency thingy?
@IamDouggy: “As a student, I endured strikes twice before I graduated. Education in Nigeria is just like electricity, if not worse, it’s never stable. It pains me that the people are the ones suffering yet they can’t do anything about it. The 2023 election is now the government’s focus, even the Minister of Education.”
@Adibenco4: “ASUU has been on strike for months, yet all the government cares for is the 2023 election. We are not fools.”