ASUU Re-emphasize Readiness To Embark On Strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has re-emphasised its readiness to embark on industrial action should the Federal Government refuse to act fast before this Friday on meeting its lingering demands.

The union said its members had sacrificed so much for both the nation’s public university system and the country at large by denying themselves of desirable things due to them as being enjoyed by their colleagues elsewhere globally and now push to the wall and can no longer continue in that manner.

The Lagos Zone coordinator of ASUU, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, made this explanation on Tuesday at a media briefing held at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka shortly after the ASUU branch of the university went round the university community to sensitise the students and other workers why they have no option to strike action at this time.

Lagos Zone comprises UNILAG; Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB); Olabisi Onabanjo University(OOU), Ago Iwoye; Lagos State University(LASU) Ojo and Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode Ogun State and with all the leaders from the branches in attendance at the briefing.

Speaking further, Odukoya, who teaches at UNILAG said even though the strike was yet to be declared as declaration could only be made by the national leader after the National Executive Council (NEC) would have met this weekend, all that are at their table as of now concerning their unmet demands by the Federal Government pointed towards embarking on industrial action.

He said ASUU as a body and its members have tired of promises as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had met ASUU leadership over the same issues multiple times from 2013 when the Memorandum of Action was signed by both parties to date including what prompted them to suspend their previous strikes within the period and with him making promises each occasion without anything tangible coming out of them.

He said his last promise to ASUU and on the pages of newspapers and television when some religious leaders visited him in the villa recently has no weight before them again as his government is not ready to do the needful except the union go on strike.

Odukoya said even though ASUU had many issues begging for attention from the government, four issues and all in their 2009 Agreement are pressing and must be attended to fast to avoid another round of total and comprehensive industrial action by members of the union nationwide.

He listed the issues to include signing and implementation of the Renegotiated 2009 FGN\ASUU Agreement, the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), stopping of the proliferation of state universities and adequate funding of the existing ones, as well as payment of their withheld salaries and the union check-off dues and giving promotion to deserving lecturers.

He said the union as part of its patriotic action had made a series of efforts at all levels and appeals at getting the government to address these issues that are threatening the industrial peace in the nation’s public universities particularly at this critical period, but all to no avail.

“So, we are disappointed that both the Federal and the state governments are not responding to our consistent appeals for a reason to bring about genuine transformation, driven by highly motivated human capital, in the education sector at all levels and that is why we won’t hesitate to go on strike should the government continue to refuse to honour the agreement between them,” Odukoya said.