Strike: FG yet to meet demands, says ASUU
The Academic Staff Union of Universities has asked Nigerians to disregard the claims of the Federal Government that it had met the demands of the union.
The ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan, Prof. Akinwole Ayoola, said on Monday that the Federal Government’s claims were lies.
The union stated that all its chapters that started the over six-month-old strike were still part of the ongoing action and were resolute to get what public universities needed from the government to survive and compete globally.
The union also said that lecturers in Nigerian public universities had been using their blood to run public universities and sustaining it saying that the union will not sacrifice her members’ welfare and will resist any effort to turn intellectuals to slaves of irresponsible leadership.
He said, “Nigerians should disregard the lies of the Federal Government. The Federal Government is far from meeting any of the union’s seven demands.
“The union gave 14-month strike notice to Federal Government before commencing the strike in 2022. Even the effort of the Nigerian Inter-Religious council in 2021 yielded no results before the union was forced to declare the strike on February 14, 2022.
“We waited for 14 months from December 2020 to February 2022 before declaring this strike. I am saying 14 months’ notice, 14months of engagements and the Nigeria Inter-Religious council intervened in 2021 when we would have declared the strike. We gave them one month with no result. Heroes are gone before they are appreciated but our union will not die. We will not die. We are going to be alive to see this struggle through.”
Akinwole disclosed that the N1.1trillion naira for revatilisation of universities was not for lecturers in public universities. He added the amount was arrived at by Federal government through her NEEDS Assessment report on the level of decay in Nigerian public universities.
Ayoola who thanked ASUU members for sacrificing and remaining resolute to reposition public varsity education in Nigeria added that irresponsible leadership is the reason for strikes in Nigeria.
The ASUU chair hinted that only strikes had forced government to spend money on her universities in the last 25 years.
Ayoola said, “If ASUU does not go on this struggle, there will be no university for new people to attend. In the last 25 years, Federal Government will not spend money on their university unless ASUU goes on strike. Does that show they are responsible?
“I am also a parent and my children are home with me. Most lecturers have to spend their money on their students’ projects for some students to graduate. I could give you the numbers of some of my students who can tell you how much I have had to support their projects.
“Lecturers retain Nigerian public universities with their blood. But it is right for Nigerians to say they should die on the job. I am saying they are owing us over eight years of verified earned academic allowances. Is it ASUU only that is on strike?
“Some sectors (research institutes) of the nation have been on strike for 13months and government has been paying their salaries. Is it an offence to become lecturers in Nigerian universities? What led to the strike? It is non-responsiveness of government that led to the strike.”
Ayoola who noted that Federal Government is not talking about the over eight years earned academic allowances owed lecturers in public universities.
He noted that the government lied to the union severally and that the Buhari government instead of paying N220 billion for meant for 2014 revitalization fund only paid N50 billion to over 50 universities in the last seven years.
He said government has to pay the balance of N170 billion to university management.
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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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