Strike continues, says ASUU

Strike continues, says ASUU
Posted by: Adegunle Olugbamila, Kolade
Adeyemi, Kano and Damisi Ojo, Akure
in Featured, News 5 hours ago
University teachers said yesterday that their strike
will go on — 89 days after it began.
This is in spite of the intervention by Vice President
Namadi Sambo in bringing the lecturers back to
the negotiation table.
The teachers are seeking proper funding of
education and the payment of their N87 billion
earned allowances.
These are part of the 2009 agreement between
the teachers and the government. The
government has offered N30 billion for the earned
allowances and made available N100billion for
projects on the campuses. The lecturers rejected
the offer. The strike has been on since July 1.
The latest position of the Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU), the umbrella association of
the teachers to go on with the strike, was made
known yesterday by University of Lagos (UNILAG)
chapter Chairman Dr. Karo Ogbinika, in a
statement.
According to him, ASUU last month pulled out of
the negotiation with the Federal Government,
which was represented by Benue State Governor
Gabriel Suswam, based on the government’s
insincerity and non-commitment.
He said the Presidency intervened, calling for
another round of meetings with Vice President
Namadi Sambo last week which, according to
ASUU, also ended in a stalemate.
The union said it was disappointed because it
hoped the Presidency’s intervention would
dampen the tension the strike had generated; but,
rather, the government was re-echoing the same
stance by Suswam, which was why ASUU withdrew
from the negotiation.
ASUU said: “After the meeting on September 19
with the Vice-President, it is clear that the Federal
Government is merely paying lip service to
education in Nigeria and deceiving the public on its
commitment to its transformation agenda.
“The Nigerian people should not be deceived. How
can there be a meaningful transformation when
the education sector is neglected and gradually
taken over by private entrepreneurs, including
government functionaries who are busy bulding
private universities with stolen funds in and
outside Nigeria. Can these universities be truly
called private?
“ASUU is assuring Nigerians that it will not back out
in its struggle to ensure that the government is
made to do what is right in the education sector.
This is a. commitment that all members of the
union have vowed to pursue to its logical
conclusion.”
The union said it had reported back to its various
zones many of which still insisted the strike must
continue.”
Hundreds of students of Bayero University, Kano
(BUK) yesterday gave the Federal Government a
one week ultimatum to meet all the demands of
ASUU or face the wrath of students.
The students, who staged a peaceful protest,
urged the Federal Government to respect and
implement the 2009 ASUU/FG agreement.
Addressing the protesters at the BUK gate, the
university’s Students Union President, Sani
Ibrahim, said they were forced to stage the protest,
“because we are tired of staying at home”. “Our
mates in other countries are in school; why should
the case of Nigerian students be different?”
“As part of the struggle to fight for our right is
being pursued, I will like to salute our students for
their patience while receiving the negative
consequences of bad governance. We believe that
the delay in resuming lectures in our universities is
not only lamentable but also devastating. We
believe even more strongly that now is the time to
let our leaders know that enough is enough and
we shall wake up and say ‘no’ to injustice being
meted out to Nigerian students.
“We also call on the government to review the
annual budget for the education sector from eight
per cent to 26 per cent, so as to ensure adequate
rehabilitation of infrastructure in our universities,
including hostels, laboratories, potable water and
constant supply of electricity.
“We are calling on ASUU to give government more
opportunity to dialogue so as to quickly resolve the
differences in the best interest of Nigerian
students. We are giving ASUU and the Federal
Government one week to sort things out and
resume lectures; otherwise Nigerian students will
look for other alternatives to fight for our right.
Education is our right and no one should take it
away from us,” Ibrahim noted.
But for the intervention of the police, who pleaded
with the protesting students, they would have
taken to the streets.
ASUU members at the Adekunle Ajasin University,
Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) insisted yesterday that they
would not return to work, until the Federal
Government resolves the issues.
This was contrary to a report that the management
was already consulting with the striking lecturers
on the need to call back the students by end of this
month.
The union urged Vice-Chancellor Prof. Femi Mimiko
to toe the path of rule of law and refrain from any
desperate act of self-help in his attempt to reopen
the university.
In a statement by their counsel, Mr. Charles
Titiloye, the union noted with great concern the
threat by the vice-chancellor to re-open the
University for academic activities, despite of the
strike.
The union warned that it would not allow contract
lecturers or newly employed graduate fellows to
be used to resume teaching in the school.

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