Stakeholders, parents, the National Association of Nigerian Students NANS have refuted the resolution of Academic Staff Union of Universities to go on warning strike for four-weeks in order to force the Nigerian Government to accept their decision.
NANS ON ASUU STRIKE.
On details about ASUU strike, NANS has resolved to mobilise students accross all its chapters to protest against the university lecturers to ensure that the ASUU strike is suspended indefinitely.
After a long meeting about the ongoing ASUU strike that lasted all through the weekend, the union declared four-week warning strike which is to take effect from Monday. ASUU decision is to register their grievances on government’s inability to implement its formal agreement with the University union.
The president of national association of Nigerian students, Mr Asefon Sunday expressed his grievances saying that the Nigerian students are regularly at the receiving end in every fight between government and ASUU. He further stated that each time there is any form of face-off between ASUU and federal government, it always end up on ASUU strike.
On the last nine-month of ASUU strike that was suspended some times in December, the NANS president expressed his displeasure on its impact that is still being felt by all affected Nigerian students.
“We are not in support of ASUU Strike or the Federal Government reluctance on state of education in the country. Nigerian students wants to return to class without any forms of strike by ASUU. I am assuring you that in the next 24-hours, students accross Nigerian universities will take actions that will revert the ASUU strike.” Mr Asefon stated.
“The last “C” (confrontation) is now the only option at our disposal. Yes, Nigerian students will confront who is involve to make sure there is no ASUU strike. We will confront all to make sure lecturers resumes classes with Nigerian Students accross all universities. Watch us and keep your fingers crossed, the actions of Nigerian students across the nation will soon be seen and felt. It will be an actions that will force both ASUU and federal government to revert the ASUU strike. The two parties will see what Nigerian students are capable of doing. Yes, ASUU strike must not hold.” Mr Asefon further added.
” if elephants are fighting, all grasses around suffers. Yes, Nigerian students always have been at the receiving end. Students have been the ones suffering all ASUU strikes,” he said.
The NANS president, Mr Asefon expressed his displeasure on FG failure to end the regular rifts with ASUU which has lingered for years. The rifts had previously slowed academic activities in Nigerian universities due to its end results that always leads to ASUU strikes.
Mr Asefon accused academic staff union of universities of being insensitive and not considerate to the plights of Nigerian students.
The NANS president expressed that ASUU as a union does not consider NANS hence refused to carry them along.
Mr Asefon further stated that ASUU union has offended all students in Nigeria as they disagree with the FG during the last nine-month of ASUU strike.
“As students, we are human and educated also, we understand everything they are demanding for is purely for the benefit of students in Nigeria but one can not be fighting for me and not carrying me along. We are students and we are also stakeholders as long as education is concerned. He said.
He further expressed “in all ASSU strikes, ASUU has not called National association of Nigerian students to carry us along. During the tenure of Emmanuel Osodeke who is a professor, I tried to reach out to the prof, all he could tell me was to relate with the ASUU chairman in my immidiate school. I keep wondering if I am the president of Student union government in my school.
“For all the nine months of ASUU strike, they couldn’t attain any of their goals. I wonder how the present ASUU strike would be a driving force that will compel the government to do the wish of ASUU.
Moreover, Mr Asefon has called on Nigerian President, retired General Buhari to relief both ministers of education and labour, Adamu Adamu and Chris Ngige of their jobs for not resolving issues bordering the ASUU strike.
“Nigerian students wants FG to sack ministers of education and labour. We only want sincere people,” he expressed in anger.
Accademic staff union of universities (ASUU) had accused the Nigerian Government of not being committed to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) which was signed by representatives of ASUU and FG.
PROF OSODEKE ON ASUU STRIKE
Osodeke who is a professor in one of the universities lamented that after 13 years the agreement was signed, its provisions were just partially attended to by the FG, while funding, the conditions of service for academic staffs and autonomy continue to be left unattended on campuses.
“After our pressure and insistence, the Federal government reluctantly agreed to start re-negotiation of the already signed agreement. The renegotiation process was concluded in 2021. To our surprise, federal government has not indicate any readiness to sign the agreement that is needed to address the deteriorating universities.”
“FG failed to implement the MoA it signed with ASUU on December 23, 2020. The draft report of Renegotiated 2009 FGN and ASUU agreement has since been submitted since nine months but nothing that the forceful payment of ASUU members’ salaries and emoluments with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and non-adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) have continued to shortchange our members, NEC resolved to embark on a four-week roll-over total and comprehensive strike action beginning from Monday.” the prof noted.
It was in 1988 that Nigeria first recorded national strike by university workers to press home for fair wages and rightful university autonomy. When universities went on strike that year, the FG proscribed ASUU. ASUU proscription was done on 7th August 1988 .
ASUU was unbanned in 1990. On 23/08/1992 after two years, ASUU was banned again. On September 3rd 1992, an agreement was signed. Another two years after, that was 1994, the union went on strike; ASUU also went on strike in 1996. Following all the trends, ASUU strike has being on and on due to FG unwillingness to attend to state of Nigerian universities.
These were the years of military dictatorships by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
After the military regime, barely three years into democracy that brought in former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the Yoruba ethnic group, ASUU were still persisting on its demand .
In October 2009, an MoU was entered by both FG and ASUU and the existing ASUU strike then was called off. There was a good respite for almost four years.
As at 2016 to 2017, the narratives of ASUU strike did not change. Alot of Observers of the educatinal sector are wondering how incessant ASUU strike have not been able to get lasting solutions to ASUU demands.
Experts noted that the fact that past ministers of education and the incumbent Minister of Education, a person of Adamu Adamu were formal university workers, they have not been able to end the face-off between ASUU and FG.
Olawale Albert on ASUU strike
Olawale Albert who is a researcher, is of the idea that there are three critical stakeholders in the issue of ASUU strikes in Nigerian universities. According to Albert, the first and most important stakeholder is the government that are not up-to-date in funding the universities since the late 1970s.
The 2nd stakeholder in ASUU strike are university staffs that won’t mind shutting down universities for months in the name of ASUU strike to press for their demands that FG is very reluctant to meet.
The third stakeholder in ASUU strike are all Nigerians that usually responds to ASUU strike with deep fear. This is because no parents want their child/children to spend longer time in school than accademic calendars.
Other accademic experts noted that worker’s strike , especially ASUU strike has become engraved in Nigeria. According to the experts, industrial actions are not restricted to ASUU strike and these strikes have big impacts on Nigerian development.