The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it would not return on its one-month warning strike.
This was communicated by the union’s president, Emmanuel Osodeke, Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
. The group also accused the Federal Government of not keeping to its promises.
The President noted that: “For the past nine years or so, they have been giving us promises, but once the strike is over, they relapse,” he said ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
“So, our colleagues are tired of these promises which they don’t fulfil. What we want are actions.” He added that members of the union had sacrificed so much for the nation’s educational system, stressing that many schools have not missed any academic year despite the strike actions by ASUU.
Osodeke revealed that lecturers put their best to make sure they meet the calendar. He added that some have not gone on leave for years and also debunked the claims that lecturers are being paid for doing nothing.
“Anybody who says ASUU is paid after strike, he is telling a lie. We are paid for the work done,” he said, maintaining that if the Federal Government had followed their part of the deal, ASUU would not have gone on strike.
Meanwhile, the ASUU president has also called on Nigerian students to hold the government responsible for the reoccurring industrial action. He stressed that unlike, in the past, the government has not properly funded education.
Osodeke admitted that students could protest what they feel is wrong, but it stressed that ASUU is not moved by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) planned protest.
“If the students are well-taken care of, they will not be talking about house rents because they will be staying in hostels. But today government has abandoned hostels. That is it. That is what the students should fight for. If all the students are staying in hostels, nobody would ask them to pay extra rent,” he said, calling on the government to do the needful.
It is pertinent to note that NANS had threatened to shut down Nigeria in a protest today if the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) failed to resolve their differences and allow students to go back to school to continue their academic programmes.
The union President, Sunday Asefon, had in a statement last week lamented that “Nigerian students cannot continue to pay for sins we never committed. As we pay for our education, we strongly believe we deserve the best. At the end of every industrial action, ASUU members are paid their salaries and other entitlements, likewise government officials in charge of education supervision.
“It is only Nigerian students that get nothing but a waste of everything. The House rent is non-refundable, the age count is irreversible. The extension of stay on campus didn’t only affect our academic journey but destabilise our life’s plans, as many missed National Youth Service Corps mobilisation due to age limit, many lost job opportunities arising from age factors while many were exposed to risks and crimes as a result of the strike.”
As the Federal Government and Academic Staff union of University is yet to reach an agreement over the years, what is your thought on the planned protest by NANS?