ASUU Mobilizes: As Another Varsities Strike Looms

*Takes Final Decision on February 14

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said that it is in the process of ASUU Mobilizes: As Another Varsities Strike Looms for another short down of academic activities in Nigerian universities. The proposed strike, sources say, is sequel to the alleged failure of the federal government to fulfill the re-negotiated 2009 agreement.

As part of activities geared towards taking a final decision on the proposed strike, the union’s executive council has scheduled a meeting for February 14 to review the implementation of the unsettled components of the agreement, including funding for revitalisation, autonomy for universities and welfare, after which it will decide on the way forward.

The real challenge, according to one of the union’s leaders is that no progress seems to have been recorded since the agreement was re-negotiated in May, 2021.

The government side proposed something and ASUU asked the government team if they had the mandate of their principal regarding what they proposed and of course, they answered yes, but said they will have to go back to consult.

After the re-negotiation had been concluded, they said they had to go back and discuss with their principal. That is where we are with negotiations on all five chapters,” the source volunteers.

The source added that ASUU volunteered five key demands, including funding for revitalisation, the autonomy of universities, welfare of lecturers and four and five are related in the 2009 renegotiation deal with the federal government but lamented that as always the latter has not lived up to its side of the bargain, an act which the union now considers as mere antics to stall the implementation of agreements reached so far.

The five chapters of the 2009 FG-ASUU are funding for revitalisation, the autonomy of universities, welfare of lecturers and four and five are related. These are things we bring up each time we go on strike.

Let them go and sign the re-negotiated 2009 agreement. It has always been like this with the government.

The antics of government regarding ASUU is always like this: We go on strike for government to come to the table for us to negotiate. After concluding the negotiation, we always have to go on strike for them to sign it and again go on strike for them to implement.

It has always been like this right from 1992. It is not new; it is the character of the government.

What is playing out now is what has been since 1992. Three stages: you will go on strike for them to negotiate, you will go on strike to get them to sign the agreement that they willingly negotiated then the final stage you go on strike to get them to implement.

This is not going to be the last strike. People should know that because after this, there will be another strike probably for them to implement that agreement.”

Meanwhile, ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, has dismissed as mere promises comments by President Muhammadu Buhari that the federal government is committed to meeting the union’s demands to prevent another round of strikes.

According to to him, the President’s call for understanding is a mere promise that is not as it has been heard before, adding that the federal government has never met most of the union’s demands.

For emphasis, Prof Osadeke listed some of the demands to include, non-signing of the re-negotiated FGN-ASUU 2009 agreement, non-payment of the balance of Earned Academic Allowances, non-deployment of UTAS, non-payment of lecturers on sabbatical, and proliferation of universities by state governments.

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