The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has prolonged its ongoing strike activity by another three months.
This was made known in a statement signed by ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke.
He stated that the extension was to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.
The rollover strike took effect from 12.01 am, May 9, 2021.
The decision was made after ASUU’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which started on Sunday night at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja.
The statement reads, “After extensive deliberations, noting the Government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.
“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022.”
In the press release titled, ‘Update on ASUU roll-over strike,’ NEC noted with intense disappointment that the three-man Committee set up by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 1st February 2022 to resolve the lingering issues between ASUU and FGN had not called a single meeting to date.
The NEC equally condemned the Federal Government’s high-handed attitude towards the strike action in the last twelve weeks, citing that the government’s resort to the use of starvation as a weapon for breaking the collective resolve of ASUU members, therefore undermining their patriotic struggle to reposition public universities in Nigeria was ill-advised and may prove counterproductive.
Additionally, the statement also mentioned that the NEC was appalled by the government’s poor attitude in handling matters regarding the public education sector because they could afford to send their children to universities overseas. The statement also noted that while the public education sector was suffering, some politicians were spending extravagant amounts on nomination forms in preparation for the 2023 elections.
“NEC was shocked that public universities have remained closed for about three months while members of the political class were busy purchasing expression of interest and nomination forms worth several millions of Naira in preparations for 2023 elections! Those in power turned their back on our degraded universities as they shuttle between Europe and America to celebrate the graduation of their children and wards from world-class universities. This speaks volumes on the level of depravity, insensitivity, and irresponsibility of Nigeria’s opportunistic and parasitic political class.”
Additionally, the statement commented that the lack of sensitivity to the educational sector was evident in the increasing insecurity in the country.
“The result of the criminal neglect of education and gross mismanagement of the nation’s patrimony is evident in the collapse of the security architecture of our nation. Insecurity is getting worse by the day and spreading like the harmattan inferno in hitherto peaceful and secured parts of Nigeria, including university campuses. ASUU warns, once more, that unless something drastic is done to reverse these ugly trends, the country may be headed for a state of anarchy.”
Furthermore, the statement also condemned the planned overseas trip that had been organized by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities’ Spouses (CVCNUS)
“NEC found the planned overseas trip organized by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities’ Spouses (CVCNUS) despicable and condemnable. The advertised five-day conference in Istanbul is a waste of scarce resources of our universities; it is insensitive and provocative, particularly at a time like this when lecturers are denied their salaries for daring to struggle to improve a lot of our public universities.”
Some of ASUU’s demands include the release for revitalization fufundsor universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.