Former Senate President Bukola Saraki, yesterday, said that lack of compassion by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) could not be divorced from the continuation of one of the worst strikes in history of Nigerian academic system by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Saraki, former Governor of Kwara State, recalled how during his tenures as Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the President of the eighth National Assembly brokered the much-needed peace between the ASUU and the Federal Government.
In a chat with reporters after the ‘Sallah’ prayers, he said that: “There is no way I would have allowed this ASUU strike to continue either in my capacity as Chairman of NGF or Senate President. Tell me if there is any nation in the world today, apart from those in wars that its publicly owned universities are under key and lock.
“It is due to lack of dedication and compassion on the part of some of those in power today. It is also the difference between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government and the government we are having now.”
Saraki added that many of the present elements in the PDP chose to remain in the party due to their desire for a better Nigeria.
According to him: “Many of us had a choice to stay in the comfort of our rooms and enjoy ourselves than taking the hardline posture of being in an opposition party. We can’t have a PDP government in power today and ASUU strike will continue for months. The only hope is to get our Permanent Voter Cards, (PVCs) to vote to power a better government like ours.
“In 2019, we came out to say that APC should not be given the second chance. We all know what we suffered in the process. We need to play our role and more importantly to give hope to Nigerians. APC has failed. Nigerians should reject APC and vote PDP back to power.”
Speaking on the recent visit of some governors of All Progressives Congress (APC) to Rivers State Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, a PDP governor, Saraki said such a visit would never convince the governor to jettison the PDP for the APC.
Describing some of the present challenges within the PDP as normal and surmountable, the ex-governor however believed that the party would soon begin to sing its victory songs.
He noted: “The PDP will overcome its challenges. I can assure Nigerians of the visit of the three governors to Wike is chasing the shadows. Wike that we all know is going nowhere. There is no doubt about it that he is a key member of our party. We are all talking to each other. PDP will unite. We will come together.
“The election ahead of us is too important for us to toy with. It involves destiny of millions of Nigerians. This is more paramount to us than anything else. We have all come to a point that sometimes, we need to swallow our own selfish ambition to save this country from collapsing. If you look at the bigger factors today, it is an open secret that PDP is the solution to insecurity, moribund health system, epileptic academic sector and unemployment in Nigeria.
“The other party in the last seven years has no solutions to our problems. It is a wake up call to all of us to come together and salvage Nigeria. Therefore that the governors went to meet one of our strong members is nothing to worry about. Be rest assured that we have all determined to stay together and resolve our problems. Be watching. You will see that we will resolve them. It is not a time one needs to talk too much. Let’s do the work first, It is a delicate time.”
Saraki urged Nigerians not to be deceived by some sponsored gale of defections from PDP to APC, noting, “What are the things that those who are in the APC are getting that would entice other members of another party to join them? It is all a ruse.”