By Victor Nwachukwu
Governor Hope Uzodimma has urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to sheathe their swords so that students can return to their various public universities.
Uzodimma appealed on Wednesday when he received members of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) at Government House, Owerri.
The governor said that any sacrifice made on the parts of ASUU and the Federal Government to end the lecturers’ strike and achieve students’ return to class should not be seen as misplaced.
”I urge all parties in the ASUU/FG saga to sheathe their swords and allow the sleeping dog to lie so that our children can go back to class.
”What the leaders of Nigeria owe our future generation is to ensure that they are allowed to acquire knowledge and be better citizens in future, and any sacrifice made in this regard will be worth the while”, he said.
Speaking on the lingering controversies surrounding land allocation in FUTO, the governor noted that he had investigated the issues in contention and noted that they could be resolved amicably.
He challenged the management of the University to “think out of the box” and see the institution as a business school capable of funding itself as a way of reducing reliance on federal allocation or subsidy.
Sen. Jack Tilley-Gyado, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of FUTO, thanked the governor for his interventions in the lingering ASUU/FG impasse.
Tilley-Gyado also thanked the governor for aiding FG’s approval of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri as a part of the Faculty of Medicine and Clinical Training of FUTO.
According to him, this was an indication of his commitment to education.
Meanwhile, he appealed to the governor to help in settling the land boundary disagreement between the University and its host communities by issuing a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the FUTO lands to the institution.