The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to honour the agreement which the Federal Government reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities in 2020.
The traditional ruler, who is also the chancellor of the University of Ibadan said this in Ibadan on Wednesday.
He said this in his address at the grand finale of the convocation of the University of Ibadan which was also its 73rd Founder’s Day.
Buhari, a visitor to the University of Ibadan, was represented at the ceremony by the Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration), National Universities Commission, Chris Mayaki.
The Sultan charged the Federal Government to do everything possible to honour the agreements with the lecturers in order not to throw public universities in the country into another round of strike.
He said God never promised anybody what he would not do while urging Buhari to ensure that his regime did not renege on the agreements so that the lecturers and others would have faith in the government.
The ASUU on Monday gave the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum and threatened to begin an indefinite strike action if the government failed to meet their demands at the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said, ” I will like to request that the visitor should please look into the request by ASUU. We have just heard that an ultimatum has been given to the government by ASUU. I will like to call on the government to look into ASUU’s requests.
“Where agreements were made and reached, uphold such agreements. A good person upholds any promise made to anybody. As Muslims, we know that almighty Allah does not say what he cannot do. It is terrible in the eyes of the Almighty to say what you cannot do.
“If the government has entered into any agreement with ASUU, please try and redeem such agreements so that our universities can remain open and our children remain in school for the betterment of our great country.”
Abubakar also appealed to the government for improved funding to enhance the research and physical development of the university.
Abubakar while speaking on the crisis which trailed the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, called on the new VC to ensure genuine reconciliation with other contestants for the development of the university.
The Pro-Chancellor and the Chairman of the Governing Council of UI, John Odigie-Oyegun, said the university required a special intervention and hard work to restore its respect among universities in the world.
Oyegun said although UI was ranked the first in Nigeria, its position in the world was nothing to write home about, saying efforts must be made by the government and other stakeholders to make it rank among the very best in the world.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, said although the university had done very well in many areas, it was still facing the problem of power. He said a huge amount was being spent monthly to settle the bill.
He listed the problem of Internet connectivity as another challenge facing sprees racers in the university. He, however, called on the government, the alumni and other Nigerians to assist in tackling these problems.