Hold FG Responsible For Another Strike In Universities – ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that the Federal Government should be held responsible if it decides to embark on strike action because their demands have not been met.

This declaration was made during a protest rally organized by the University of Lagos branch of ASUU, which also saw significant participation from the university’s student body.

The rally, which emerged following a congress of the union members, vocalized strong support for ASUU’s stance on several unmet demands by the government.

Participants, including both lecturers and students, expressed their frustrations through various placards and chants denouncing the government’s neglect and insensitivity.

The procession concluded at the university’s main gate, where union executives outlined their grievances and sought public intervention.

At the heart of the union’s discontent are promises made by President Bola Tinubu, which, according to ASUU, have not been fulfilled.

“Despite a series of promises made by the current administration to address our demands, nothing has materialized thus far,” stated Prof. Kayode Adebayo, the branch chairman, during his address at the rally.

He emphasized that the union’s patience is wearing thin after years of protracted negotiations and unfulfilled commitments dating back to 2009.

Prof. Adebayo passionately appealed to parents and students to understand the union’s position and hold the government accountable for any potential disruptions in the academic calendar.

He stressed that the union’s potential decision to strike is a direct consequence of the government’s failure to meet agreed-upon demands, affecting not only the staff but the future of education for millions of Nigerian students.

He said, “The struggle is not only for the ASUU, but also for the university system. We no longer trust politicians, they promised and failed to fulfil. Don’t blame the union for another strike, hold the Federal Government responsible.”

The former branch chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru, said the protest was one of the union’s attempts to draw attention of the government to the numerous challenges facing the university system, and in particular, lecturers, whose take home pay cannot take them home.

He said, “We have written a series of letters to the government, met with the government officials, including the National Assembly, gone on strikes, and for 15 years, the issues have remained unresolved. As of today, the take home pay of a Nigerian professor is about N600,000, which is not up to what lawmakers use for lunch or dinner.

“The Federal Government must address our demands because we will not guarantee academic stability if it fails to implement them. We call on Tinubu’s administration to pay the withheld salaries, and outstanding earned academic allowances, stop payment of our salaries through IPPIS, pay deduction of third party dues and other demands of the union.

“We cannot guarantee smooth academic activities in our various campuses. If another round of strike should take place in the universities, the Federal Government should be held responsible. Our National Executive Council will certainly decide the next line of action.’’

A member of the union, Dr. Michael Oloyede, explained that university lecturers nationwide were facing challenges with many of them struggling to meet the needs of their families, and pay school fees and medical bills. “If strike is the language the Federal Government understands, we will give it to them. Lecturers cannot continue to teach with an empty stomach. The government should fulfil the agreement signed with ASUU. The union cannot be oppressed.’’

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