Amos Kiri, the president of the United Church of Christ in Nigeria (HEKAN), has warned that the extension Union of University Academic Staff (ASUU) could lead to increased criminal activity in the country.
Kiri, who was speaking at the 56th Annual National Hekan Convention, held in Kaduna on Sunday, April 3, 2022, said that if students accustomed to reading and other extracurricular activities were left out, the devil could recover them, as an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
The cleric noted that if students were to stay home longer, the outcome might not be too palatable in some communities across the country.
Therefore, he called on the striking teachers and the federal government to expedite the dialogue to end the persistent industrial action.
Kiri reiterated that as long as students are forced to stay home, doing nothing, they could be introduced to worship and drug addiction.
“The future, the strength and the pride of any nation, community or church are the young people.
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“Sadly, many of our potential, innovative and future leaders and genres have been bewitched and ensnared in evil and destructive activities that damage their health and their lives,” he said.
Recall that the ASUU declared a 30-day warning strike on February 14 after the meeting of the union’s National Council of Executives (NEC to NEC) held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
On March 13, the ASUU at a meeting in Abuja postponed the strike for 8 weeks after negotiation efforts with the Federal Government proved abortive.
The union claimed that the federal government deliberately delayed the rollout of the University Transparency and Accountability solution as a payment platform for university staff, the non-payment of the due portion of earned academic stipends.
In addition, ASUU disapproved of the non-release of the previously agreed N40 billion fund for the revitalization of public universities, the reluctance to sign the renegotiated draft agreement of 2009, the continued non-payment of promotion arrears , non-payment of deductions from wages and non-payment of deducted union dues, among others.