FG, ASUU resume talks Monday, students continue protests
Students of the University of Ilorin on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest to express their disappointment over the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, vowing that they would not have anything to do with the 2023 general election if the government allowed the strike to linger.
This was just as students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, staged a similar protest on the strike in front of The PUNCH Place on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
The PUNCH had reported how ASUU, on Monday, extended its rollover strike by 12 weeks to provide enough time for the Federal Government to attend to its demands.
UNILORIN students, during the protest, said they planned to take their protest to major places like the Government House, roads linking Ilorin Airport, state House of Assembly, Federal Secretariat, police headquarters, and the Department of State Services, among other places, if the meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government did not resolve the lingering crisis this week.
The protesting students lamented their continued stay at home due to the strike and called on the Federal Government to meet ASUU’s demands to enable them to complete their academic activities.
Speaking with journalists, the Students Union President, Taofik Waliu, said the protest was aimed at creating awareness among stakeholders and members of the public.
Waliu said, “We want to graduate. The Federal Government should meet ASUU’s demands. We don’t plan to move around town today. We hope that soon, the ASUU strike will be a thing of the past whereby about-to-be graduates can graduate and 300 Level students can move up, and so on.
“However, if nothing fruitful comes out after the Federal Government’s meeting with ASUU this week, we will move en masse continuously with other students of 10 educational institutions in the state to block roads to various places in the state capital to register our displeasure over the lingering strike.
“This is just to send a message to the government that we are tired and they should meet ASUU’s demands.”
The state chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Salman Yisa, called on state governors to intervene, adding that the issue is beyond the Federal Government.
OAU students, who stormed the entrance of The PUNCH, said they did so because they believed their grievances would be publicised.
The President of the OAU Student Union Government, Olayiwola Folarin, in an interview with one of our correspondents, described their action as a warning, adding that they have plans to hit the streets if nothing was done soonest.
The union’s Welfare Officer, Dada Arafat, said, “We are in solidarity with ASUU, appealing for the reopening of schools and provision of funds meant for laboratories and structures.”
The union’s Clerk, Odetunde Dickson, added that students were tired of constant industrial action.
The management of OAU, however, on Tuesday directed all students to vacate their halls of residence.
A statement signed by the Dean, Division of Student Affairs, Prof. I.O. Aransi, dated May 10, 2022, said students must comply with the directive not later than Friday, May 13.
According to him, the directive was a sequel to the latest development on the ongoing strike embarked upon by all the staff unions in the nation’s federal universities.
The statement read in part, “To this end, all undergraduate and postgraduate students in the halls of residence are directed to vacate their respective hostels and go home till further notice.
“It is our hope that issues necessitating the strike action will be resolved as soon as possible.”
Government meets ASUU May 16
Meanwhile, ASUU may meet with the government side on May 16.
The Chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Minna chapter of ASUU, and member of the union’s National Executive Council, Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja.
Bolarin said, “I am aware there will be a meeting coming up next week from May 16 with the government, but we are not aware of any invitation from the Minister of Labour and Employment. Holding a meeting is not the issue, the most important thing is the implementation.
“They will call us for meetings and then say the government does not have the money. When aviation declared strike, they settled it because they are mostly affected. Once our leaders are not affected, they do not care. When bad fuel was imported, they did not really care. Our leaders are not sincere, the day the government becomes sincere, issues will be settled.
“We have given them 12 weeks and we hope that they will resolve the issues within this window. This is something they can resolve within a day if they are serious.”.
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Osodeke, ASUU President to deliver 14th Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities,( ASUU) Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke will on Friday February 3 deliver the 14th edition of the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture at Akin Deko Memorial Lecture Auditorium, University of Benin, Benin, Edo State.
Prof Osodeke will be speaking on the theme: State of Tertiary Education in Nigeria: Identifying Historical Issues and Misconceptions; Contemplating Solutions.
The lecture , an initiative of the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) was instituted to honour one of its founders, Ralph Opara, a prolific writer, producer and broadcaster.
The NAS Capoon , Mr Abiola Owoaje in statement said over the years, the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture series has emerged as a veritable platform for interrogating topical national and global issues, for engendering and promoting good governance, accountability, democracy, citizens’ participation and economic development.
He disclosed that previous speakers of the Ralph Opara Memorial Lecture include Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, a former President of ASUU, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Dr. Sam Amadi, Mr. Femi Falana and Dr. Hussani Abdu.
According to Owoaje this year’s lecture focusing on tertiary education was borne out of the disturbing decadence that pervades Nigeria’s higher institutions.
He stated that as an organisation founded in a university campus that draws its membership strictly from the intellectual pool of university and polytechnic graduates, “we are worried that our higher institutions have lost significant value as citadels of learning due to poor funding, lack of infrastructure and adequate educational and recreation facilities, while becoming a breeding ground for gangsterism, violence and criminality.”
He pointed out that the lecture seeks to address the multifaceted problems in Nigeria’s higher institutions which includes infrastructural development, the scourge of cultism and the perennial indifference of the Nigerian government to the development of higher education in the country.
He disclosed that the event will be chaired by Prof. Temi Akporhonor (Dean, Post Graduate School, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State) and the special guest discussants include Dr. Joan Oviawe Honourable Commissioner for Education, Edo State), Dr. Osagie Obayuwana (Former Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Edo State) and Prof. Samuel Ovenseri Aibueku (Former Director, Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB), University of Benin).
The event is expected to attract members of ASUU, university administrators including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU), students of tertiary institutions, civil society organisations and the Media.
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SEADOGS, PYRATES CONFRATERNITY, ASH MONTANA DECK, CALLS FOR REFORMS IN EDUCATION
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, Ash Montana Deck, has advocated reforms and systemic changes in the educational sector in Nigeria, as this will help to achieve a secure, just and progressive society and future. It noted that the country should think outside the box to come up with an educational system and structure that is constructively and productively be forward looking in positioning us for the future and creating the kind of society we desire. It added that instead of adopting and or adapting systems from other climes, we come up with a home-grown hybrid educational system and policies suitable for our unique experience. This call was made during the programme, Panorama on Splash 106.7 FM, Abeokuta, Ogun State, in commemoration of the International Day of Education on 24th January, 2023.
The association reiterated that education is important for a viral society; and without education, there will be no civilisation and no development. Therefore, the government and all stakeholders should, as a matter of urgency, prioritise education for peace and sustainable development. While reacting to some of the problems of education in the state including the issue of out-of-school children, decline in educational development, and lack of interest for education by children and youths these days, the association opined that several factors may be attributed; including, inequality, poverty, insecurity, infrastructure decay, our eroding value systems, violence, and the rather retrogressive, obsolete educational system and policies that seem not to be positioning us to compete globally in the ever changing and emerging dynamics of the world. It appeals to the government and other policy makers to stop paying lip service in addressing the problems be-deviling education in Nigeria. Adding that there should be sincerity of purpose in policy thrust, promises made and their implementation. It added that corruption with its rippling effects is equally at the heart of the problems. Tackling corruption and corrupt practices will go a long way. The association further added that the government should do more to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living for families; provide social amenities for the people; provide and or improve infrastructures in schools.
The International Day of Education is celebrated globally every 24th January to emphasize the importance of education for global peace and sustainable development. Education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goal 4; education is a human right, a public good and a social responsibility and everyone is entitled to it, irrespective of age, gender, status, creed and any attachments. With inclusive, equitable quality education, lifelong opportunities can be created for all; individuals and society will develop, and the cycle of poverty will be broken (unesco.org). The global theme for this year’s celebration is: “To invest in people, prioritise education”. An idea that society will develop and progress when it invest in its people through their education. Still in line with the essence of the event and the theme of course, the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) Ash Montana Deck, adopted the sub-theme: “Reinventing our educational system for a secure and progressive future”. This is contained in its call for educational reforms.
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious and detribalised organisation whose aim is to promote a society that upholds human dignity, that
is just, humane and progressive, where no one is a victim of colour, race, gender, ethnic origin, belief, social status, creed or other
discriminatory factors of a similar nature through the use of advocacy and activism, investigative
research, education, public enlightenment,
and litigation to resist, wherever and whenever
such may occur. It is registered with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Corperate Affairs Commission.
Ash Montana Deck
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.
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