ASUU Afraid Strike May Linger 

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has expressed fears that its ongoing strike action may have to sustain longer than anticipated due to alleged lack of commitment by the Federal Government

Prof. Theophilus Lagi, the ASUU, Abuja Zonal Coordinator, disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday, November 17, at Gwagwalada, Abuja.

Lagi said the strike had lingered for several months as the government had yet to show any serious commitment or willingness towards addressing the unions core demands for students to resume studies.

According to him, members of the ASUU have been advised to seek other legitimate means of survival as the government has not released salaries withheld since February, 2020.

“Today, we wish to let Nigerians especially our students and parents know that there is no hope in sight to ending or suspending the ASUU strike that lingered for long.

“Government is yet to show serious commitment towards addressing our core demands.

“One needs not to be a psychologist to understand the behavior and recent utterances of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige by showing his disdain for Nigerian Academics and has failed to play the role of an unbiased umpire in moderating the imbroglio.

“He has now become the spokesperson to the accountant General of the Federation and Ministry of finance, instead of finding solution for lecturers to get back to work.

“He is turning the wheel of progress backwards by setting ASUU on collision with other pressure groups in the University.

“In the past few weeks for instance, Ngige has said one thing when he met with the Union and a different thing on the same subject in an interview with the media.

“This double character of a Minister and a purported negotiator in the face-off should be a source of worry to not only Nigerian students but parents who patronise public universities.

“On this, we will like to educate the honourable Minister that public universities in Nigeria are creatures of law as each University is established by an Act enacted by the National Assembly,” he said.

Lagi maintained that in spite of agitations with comprehensive and indefinite strike to compel the federal government to address its core demands, government had not shown any commitment.

He however, called on the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, payment and mainstreaming of earned academic allowances into salaries, release of funds for revitalisation of the Nigerian university system among others.

The coordinator condemned the event at Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) where the authority allegedly invited the military to assist in the conduct of the 2019/2020 first semester examinations.

ASUU, Abuja Zone, comprises the Federal University of Technology, Minna; Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai; Federal University of Lafia, and University of Abuja.

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