• Okebukola urges union to suspend action
• Artefacts stolen from Benin to be located at EDOFEST
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, and the University of Benin (UNIBEN), both in Edo State, have unanimously resolved to fully comply with the resolution of the national executive council (NEC) of ASUU to resume total, indefinite strike nationwide.
UNIBEN chapter chairman of ASUU, Prof. Julius Iyasele, told newsmen that government’s insensitivity to the plight of citizens and public tertiary institutions in the country prompted the strike.His AAU counterpart, Dr. Monday Igbafen, disclosed that academic activities had been paralysed in AAU following the withdrawal of academic staff from lecture halls.
Benin zonal coordinator ASUU, Prof. Fred Esumeh, stated that branches in the zone that started the strike before UNIBEN and AAU joined included Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), and Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa. Igbafen accused government of deliberate systematic destruction of the education sector with particular reference to public universities through adoption and implementation of neo-liberal policies.
But former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, has appealed to ASUU to suspend the strike. Okebukola, while delivering the first Kwara State University (KWASU) education lecture at Malete, Moro Council of Kwara, said that most of the demands of the union were in the blueprints submitted to the federal government after the recent declaration by the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, of a state of emergency in the education sector.
Meanwhile, pictures of artefacts stolen from Edo State by foreigners and the museums housing them will be showcased during the photo exhibition of the 2018 Edo Festival of Arts and Culture (EDOFEST) next month. Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, during the week, asked the Prince of Wales, Charles George, when he visited Nigeria, to support the agitation for the repatriation of ancient Benin artefacts taken to the United Kingdom in 1897 by the British authorities.
The Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, told The Guardian that the festival themed ‘Harnessing Arts and Culture for Sustainable Economic Development’ would hold in Benin City.