Despite the prolonged ASUU strike now in its eighth month, President Muhammadu Buhari has conferred national honours on Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu.
The national honours are awards given to citizens and sometimes foreigners in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the nation’s development.
To the chagrin of many Nigerians, the national honours which is seen as an official validation of one’s excellence in a chosen career will now be awarded to Mr Adamu, deemed incompetent by many citizens over his inability to proffer reasonable solutions to end the prolonged eight months strike of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which began February 14.
Mr Adamu’s tenure as Education Minister since 2015 has witnessed over 20 months of strike, an astounding record that has left many students academically stranded across the nation.
Schools like the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife had to merge new students from two academic sessions, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 for lectures in 2022, before the current strike.
The ASUU strike has led to the inability of some students to be mobilised for NYSC due to delay in issuance of certificates.
In 2017, under Mr Adamu’s watch, ASUU embarked on a one-month strike that lasted between August 17 and September 18.
In 2018, the union began another strike that lasted three months, from November 4, 2018 to February 7, 2019.
In 2020, ASUU embarked on its longest strike lasting from March 23 to December 23, a nine month period which translated to a wasted session on the academic calendar.
In 2022, the union has been on strike since February 14 and all negotiations so far have reached stalemate as the Federal Government is unwilling to accede to the demands of the academic union. The strike has been on for over eight months.
Despite the various failures recorded in the education sector under Mr Adamu’s watch, President Buhari is determined to compensate the Education Minister with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) national honours, a move considered reckless and insensitive of the administration, to the plight of students and striking lecturers.