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General News of Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Source: www.premiumtimesng.com

Gbajabiamila apologises for ‘insensitive’ Harvard posts amid ASUU strike

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives at Harvard School of Government in the US Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives at Harvard School of Government in the US

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has apologized for posting pictures of himself in a classroom at Harvard School of Government in the US at a time public universities in Nigeria have been shut down for about six months.

“Yesterday, I posted a picture of myself at the @Harvard @Kennedy_School, undergoing a course. That post was not sensitive to the present feelings of fellow citizens, especially parents and students who are presently bearing the brunt of the ongoing closure of public universities owing to the unresolved issues between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he wrote on Twitter.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Gbajabiamila, a lawyer, on Tuesday posted pictures of himself in a class with other (non-Nigerian) students.

“Back to class. In a leadership course at @Harvard @Kennedy_School. Forget the number of grey hairs one is never too old to learn, broaden or sharpen your skills,” he wrote on his verified Twitter page.

Mr Gbajabiamila’s Tuesday posts elicited condemnation from Nigerians who questioned the propriety of such an action when millions of Nigerian university students have been at home for about six months due to a strike by university lecturers (ASUU).

ASUU declared industrial action on February 14 after it accused the government of failing to implement previous agreements with the union.

That post ‘not sensitive — GbajabiamilaIn a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle on Wednesday, Mr Gbajabiamila said it was not his intention to cause dissatisfaction with the post.

He said he has been at the forefront of trying to resolve the disagreement between the government and ASUU. He also listed other interventions he has done to improve public education in Nigeria.

Read his full statement below.

Yesterday, I posted a picture of myself at the @Harvard @Kennedy_School, undergoing a course. That post was not sensitive to the present feelings of fellow citizens, especially parents and students who are presently bearing the brunt of the ongoing closure of public universities owing to the unresolved issues between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

I apologize for the post at this time, and I hope you will understand that it was not my intention to cause disaffection. As Speaker of @HouseNGR,I have made multiple interventions within the powers of the legislature to avert the ongoing strike.

I had direct engagements with ASUU relevant government agencies. The House of Representatives is still keenly involved in seeking a resolution to the issues so our students can return to school. We all await the outcome of the 2-week ultimatum given for the conclusion of negotiations with ASUU.

I have long been a champion of public education in Nigeria, and I have consistently advocated programs, policies and investments to improve the quality of public education in the country. In my constituency and beyond, I have attracted a new international students hostel in UNILAG facilitated access to free internet WiFi in all public tertiary institutions in Lagos State; provision of modern ICT centres in 24 secondary schools across the state, provision of scholarships and grants to indigent students in selected tertiary institutions, provision of laptops to all secondary school teachers in my constituency and hundreds of students, facilitated the renovation of over 15 public schools in Lagos,

facilitated the ongoing construction of the Open University Campus and JAMB CBT Centre in my constituency, facilitated the ongoing construction of School Auditoriums in both LASU and School of Legal Studies, Katsina; facilitated the construction of a public library in Ondo;

Facilitated the ongoing construction of an emergency care centre for the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital amongst other numerous interventions. In keeping with my passion for education, I regularly take time to teach in some public secondary schools across the country.

I will continue to work within the remit of the legislature to provide our young people with access to quality education.

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