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ASUU Strike to affect 2019 Elections, INEC warns

Amadin Ogbewe

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has warned that the ASUU strike will affect the upcoming 2019 Elections.

The ASUU strike began on the 5th of November and after several meetings between the Union and the Federal Government, no resolution has been met. The last meeting ending with the lecturers staging a walkout which the minister for Labour, Chris Ngige, denied. 

On Thursday, a National Commissioner for INEC and Chairman of its Information and other Education Committee, Festus Okoye, expressed concerns about the effect of the ASUU  strike on the 2019 elections  during the opening of a one-day seminar on media gender sensitive reporting.

Mr Okoye expressed fears that the strike would negatively impact the upcoming polls. 

He said, “It is next to impossibility for members of the NYSC to provide all the ad hoc staff needs and requirements of the commission, and over 70 per cent of the ad hoc staff requirement in some states of the federation are drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions.

Hence, the lingering strike by ASUU will no doubt have serious impact on the preparations for the conduct of the 2019 elections. We therefore call on ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria to quickly and genuinely resolve the lingering impasse that has led to uncertainty in the education sector.

The national interest, the interest of our democracy and the reputation of Nigeria demand the immediate resolution of the issues that led to the strike and we so urge.

It is important that students in federal tertiary institutions should and must be in school at least a month before the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections. They are a critical resource and their absence will have adverse effects on the ad hoc requirements of INEC.”

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