The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has pleaded with the Federal Government to show consideration for the ordinary Nigerian youth, the pressure group urgently meet their demands as the students are tired of the consistent strike action.
The Union’s stand was revealed in a press conference by the Akure Zone of the Union, who was represented by Dr. Olayinka Awopetu; the Chairman of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Dr. Kayode Arogundade of the Ekiti State University, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, Obafemi Awolowo University, and Dr. Gabriel Omonijo, the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti.
The statement was read by Professor Olu Olufayo, the Union’s Zonal Coordinator. He stated that the continuous industrial action of the union was to make the FG fulfil the agreement the government had with the university lecturers in 2013, and 2019. He asserted that the issues with the Government bothered beyond the refusal to accept the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPIS) for university lecturers.
The statement reads: ‘For the avoidance of doubt, our issues remain; funding for revitalization of public universities, payment of earned academic allowances, visitation panels to universities and renegotiation of 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
‘Since 2009, we have conscientiously approached the government to be faithful to implement the agreement it freely entered into with the union. The current struggle derives from this history.’
‘We are tired of the strike. Our children are attending the public institution and it is sad that those frustrating our agitations, their children are not attending schools in Nigeria. It is so unfortunate. FG is intentionally starving us for our members to compromise and resume.’
Prof. Olufayo lamented that the frequent meetings with the Federal Government have not solved any problem as the government continues to dishonour the agreement.
‘Our students have stayed home for almost a year, we are not the cause, we started our strike before COVID-19 and those students are fed up and it was part of what contributed to #EndSARS and the FG realised that. They are now calling for negotiations that they turned down months back. The students during #EndSARS also included End bad governance. I know that students in Kwara State University gave FG two weeks ultimatum to sort the issue with ASUU else they will hit streets with protest, that scared the government and they are rushing us to resume,’ he added.
He also noted that ‘the public should not blame ASUU for further damage to university educational system but hold the federal government responsible.’
The Union also cited failure by the FG to meet their demands leveraging on the EndSARS protest.
Photo Credit: ICIJ