Godwin Obaseki, Edo governor, has warned that the continued strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is causing a spike in the rate of drug abuse in the state.

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The governor spoke after a review of the state’s security situation for the months of February, March, and April.

The review came after a meeting between the state government and representatives of various security agencies.

Obaseki said Edo recorded 19 drug abuse cases in February, 34 cases in March, and 23 cases in April.

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“Drug abuse is now the number two issue of concern in our state. Our analysis shows that there is a high rate of consumption of drugs in the last few months,” the governor stated.

“This is not unconnected with the ASUU strike which has kept many students at home and idle.

“I appeal to ASUU and the federal government to do all they can to end this strike as soon as possible.

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“This is in the interest of the children so that we do not keep them at home and destroy their lives.

“If they are not going to school, as you know the idle mind is a devil’s workshop. One way we hope that we can reduce the use of drugs is if we take these children back to school.”

On May 9, ASUU extended its roll-over strike which started on February 14 by another 12 weeks.

The striking union is demanding funding to address the revitalisation of public universities, government action on earned academic allowances, the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), and promotion arrears.

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Other issues the striking lectures had called attention to include the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FG agreement and what it described as “the inconsistencies” in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

Amid the ASUU-FG face-off, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) similarly declared its own two-week strike over the non-implementation of demands it made of the government.



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