Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has apologized to Nigerians over his recent post that sparked outrage online.
Gbajabiamila came under fire from Nigerians on social media after he took to Twitter to celebrate his “return to class” amid the ongoing ASUU strike.
He shared photo from his class at Harvard Business School and captioned it,
“Back to class. In a leadership course at @Harvard @Kennedy_School. Forget the number of grey hairs one is never too old to learn, broaden or sharpen your skills.”
The politician’s post was widely considered insensitive, and he has now publicly apologised to Nigerians.
He admitted that his decision to post a picture of himself attending a leadership course at Harvard University in the United States of America was insensitive to the plight of Nigerian students in public universities.
He also highlighted some of his efforts to ensure the face-off between lecturers and the federal government is resolved.
“Yesterday, I posted a picture of myself at the @Harvard @Kennedy_School, undergoing a course. That post was not sensitive to the present feelings of fellow citizens, especially parents and students who are presently bearing the brunt of the ongoing closure of public universities owing to the unresolved issues between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“I apologize for the post at this time, and I hope you will understand that it was not my intention to cause disaffection. As Speaker of @HouseNGR,I have made multiple interventions within the powers of the legislature to avert the ongoing strike. I had direct engagements with ASUU.. relevant government agencies.
“The House of Representatives is still keenly involved in seeking a resolution to the issues so our students can return to school. We all await the outcome of the 2-week ultimatum given for the conclusion of negotiations with ASUU.
“I have long been a champion of public education in Nigeria, and I have consistently advocated programs, policies and investments to improve the quality of public education in the country.
“In my constituency and beyond, I have attracted a new international students hostel in UNILAG, facilitated access to free internet WiFi in ALL public tertiary institutions in Lagos State; provision of modern ICT centers in 24 secondary schools across the state, provision of scholarships and grants to indigent students in selected tertiary institutions, Provision of laptops to ALL secondary school teachers in my constituency and hundreds of students, facilitated the renovation of over 15 public schools in Lagos, facilitated the ongoing construction of the Open University Campus and JAMB CBT Centre in my constituency, facilitated the ongoing construction of School Auditoriums in both LASU and School of Legal Studies, Katsina; facilitated the construction of a public library in Ondo; facilitated the ongoing construction of an emergency care centre for the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital amongst other numerous interventions. In keeping with my passion for education, I regularly take time to teach in some public secondary schools across the country.” He wrote.