The Academic Staff Union of Universities has again blamed the Federal Government for the ongoing strike in public universities.
The union’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, stated in an interview with our correspondent that the government “went to sleep” for eight months after it completed negotiations with the union in May 2021.
According to him, ASUU waited for actions from the government to no avail.
Sunday PUNCH reports that ASUU had on Monday, March 14, 2022 announced an eight-week rollover of its four-week warning strike, which ended a day earlier.
Speaking with Sunday PUNCH, Osodeke explained that the union embarked on the eight-week rolling strike to give the Federal Government “more time.”
He said, “The initial idea was that the government would have met all the demands within the four weeks. But since the government said they could not meet up with our demands in four weeks, we said let us give them eight weeks. We just don’t want to declare an indefinite strike. Let us hope that in eight weeks, they meet up so that schools can return to normal and there will be an improvement in the system.
“All they have done is to make promises like they had done in the past. For our members, if you have made promises in the past that you did not fulfil, why should we believe you again? If the government was serious about these problems, within four weeks the problems would have been solved.
“We say release the white paper, release the revitalisation fund for universities and sign the agreement, these things should not have taken four weeks if they were serious.
“In 2021, ASUU did not go on strike and I’m sure you are aware of that. We completed negotiations in 2021, did we go on strike? Between May 2021 and February 2022, that is eight months, for them to go and look at what we discussed; did we go on strike during this period? No, but the government went to sleep.
“For eight months, the government went to sleep and when ASUU went on strike, they came up.”
When asked for his reaction to claims by the Federal Government that there were no funds to meet the demands of the union, Osodeke said, “The government said there is no money but they have money for elections. Between education and election, which one is much more important? They constructed a railway from Kaduna to Niger Republic, is that more important than education?
“They claim there is no money, but the President increased the duty tour allowance and you see them travelling from one country to another. Does that prove that there is no money? Who are the ones benefiting from the DTA? Aren’t they political office holders? But the one that concerns the ordinary Nigerians, they claim they don’t have money. It is not correct; it is just the issue of priority”.
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ASUU to hold emergency meeting tomorrow over suspension of strike
ABUJA-THE striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will convene emergency National Executive Council, NEC meeting on Thursday, to review recent developments, especially the positive response from the federal government to its demands.
Preparatory to the meeting expected to take place at its headquarters in Abuja,the union has directed its zonal branches to collate the views of members through vote during the meetings expected to hold tomorrow in its various zones across the country.
The outcome of the meeting would result in suspension of the strike on late Thursday or Friday morning.
This came as report had emerge in the social media space earlier on Tuesday, claiming that the union had called off the almost 8-month old strike and subsequently directed members to resume academic activities on October 17.
ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, while responding to enquiry to that effect, dismissed the report, saying the strike was yet to be suspended.
He, however,said the union was working towards the suspension of the action, saying the action would be dependent on the views of members from the zonal meetings.
The latest action of the lecturers’union came following the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Speaker had on Monday,after a meeting with ASUU president and other members,assured that the strike would be suspended very soon, saying his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the union’s action was fruitful.
Earlier,human rights lawyer and counsel to ASUU,Femi Falana,SAN, had also said the union would soon call off its nearly eight-month old strike.
We’re hopeful of end to strike in few days, says ASUU
PRESIDENT of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Emmanuel Osodeke, said yesterday the union was optimistic of ending its strike soon, noting that for the first time, there is light at the end of the tunnel
It will be recalled that the Appeal Court had last Friday, ordered the union to ask its members to return to work within, after it (union) appealed an early order by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, to resume.
Osodeke, spoke yesterday at a meeting with the leadership of the House of Representatives, whose speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, and his team recently intervened in the disadreement between the federal government and the union on the strike which had been on for eight months.
He said: “Please, let all of us work together to put a beautiful end to this thing we have started, so that every Nigerian will be proud that we have universities we can be proud of.
“Once again, I want to thank you, I also extend our appreciation to the president for intervening, I want to appeal that in the future, we should not allow strike to linger. Strike should not go beyond two days.
“If the way the National Assembly has intervened, if we had done that long ago, or those in charge of labour and education had done exactly this, we would not be where we are today. We would not have stayed more than two or three weeks on this strike. There is strike all over the world, UK, US, all over, but they don’t allow it to last.
“So, once again, thank you very much and we hope that working together, in the next few days, we can put an end to this particular imbroglio in the Nigerian educational system.”
The meeting was called at the instance of the speaker to brief the union about the intervention of the House with President Muhammadu Buhari on the strike.
UNILAG appoints new bursar
The Governing Council of the University of Lagos has appointed Mrs Oluwafunmilayo Adekunle as the new Bursar of the university.
Adekunle’s five-year tenure as the bursar of the institution will commence from Thursday, November 3, 2022.
This is contained in a statement released by the Communication Unit of UNILAG on Thursday.
The statement read, “The Governing Council of the University of Lagos, at its meeting on Thursday, October 6, 2022, approved the appointment of Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Yetunde Adekunle as the new Bursar of the University.
“Her tenure is for five (5) years with effect from Thursday, November 3, 2022.
“Mrs. Adekunle until her appointment was Deputy Bursar, Treasury. She joined the services of the University in 2005.
“She holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Accounting from the University of Lagos. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
“Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Yetunde Adekunle takes over from the current Bursar, Dr. Lekan Lawal, whose tenure ends on Wednesday, November 2, 2022.”
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