Akure ASUU Faults Government order to Return to Class

The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Friday said the Federal Government was employing blackmail to force lecturers back to class, as it fears youths taking back the streets in another protest against the ongoing industrial action by its members.

The Akure Zone of the union has however declared that no amount of blackmail would make it end the current industrial action unless its members were paid their salaries while urging Nigerians to intervene in the impasse in the interest of the students.
Professor Olu Olufayo, the Coordinator of ASUU in Akure Zone, said the strike may linger for years if the federal government refuses to honor its agreement with the union.

He stressed that ASUU would remain on strike until the Nigerian government meets its demands concerning implementing the 2009 agreement.

It also said the government was not interested in ending the strike and acceding to the demands of the striking lecturers.
On March 23, 2020, ASUU declared a “total and indefinite strike” over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action and over the lingering crisis on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

The union had brought forward five contentious issues in the 2019 MoA which are; revitalization fund for universities, outstanding earned academic allowances, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, proliferation of universities, particularly by state governments, and establishment of visitation panels to universities.

The IPPIS crisis had joined in around October 2019, after the union berated the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for threatening to withhold the salaries of its members.
ASUU had also insisted that it had an alternative model to IPPIS, the University Transparency, and Accountability Solution, which it urged the Federal Government to adopt for the universities.

Addressing newsmen at the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof Olu Olufayo, noted that the Federal Government had stopped negotiation with the lecturers until the recent eruption of violence during #EndSARS protests.

Olufayo said, “Our students have stayed at home for too long; they have been at home for almost a year now. Don’t forget we didn’t send them home. We embarked on strike before the advent of coronavirus. Don’t forget #EndSARS protests. It was at that point that the government realized that students should not have been idle.

“So, that must have made the government ask us to resume negotiation. All through the period coronavirus was strong, we were not called for negotiation. But now, the government wants us to return to class and engage the students. If we return to class now, what are we going to do there? I can’t teach when I don’t have money to feed myself.

“Also, during #EndSARS protest, the youths also said they wanted to end bad governance. Students in universities in Kwara State have given the government two weeks ultimatum to resolve issues with ASUU and reopen schools, otherwise, they would return to the streets. That must have scared the government and they told us to return to the classroom. But how can we resume without being paid?”
With an 8months lingering strike, what is your perception of ASUU’s demand and FG failure in meeting their plea?

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