The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, has revealed that the strike is the only option that the staff union has to move forward.
The president said that it is because of the way the federal government is ignoring too much to the extent that the members of the union accuse him of being on the federal government’s side.
If they do not want to strike, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke told students to help beg the federal government to do the right thing.
“Higher institution Students should please beg the federal government to do the needful and the strike will not be announced. ASUU is not the one initiating the strike. It is the Federal government that has initiated the strike, “Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke revealed.”
“We reached an understanding in January, and now we are in the month of December, and they promised us that within a month, they would resolve all the issues. Eleven months have passed and they have yet to resolve the issues, “he added.
“As a normal human being and association, what do you want us to do? You want us to abandon the issues at hand?” He asked.
“In the month of August, they promised us that they would solve the issues. We accepted it as a union. because of the interest of the students and their parents.
They told us again that they would finish solving the issues by the end of October. We accepted their proposal, and we waited once again. They solved nothing. In November, the intervention of the Chief of Staff and Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as the intervention by the Minister of Labour, did nothing, so we have exhausted all the possible things any union could do,” He complained.
The professor said that the main issues that made them want to go on strike were those that the federal government has yet to address.
“What they could easily do: After the last three weeks’ notice, which ended in the month of November, we still gave them little time after consulting with our members, and nothing has yet to happen except for the little money which they said they released for need assessment and EAA.
“According to them, they called it “hanging fruits.” What they could easily do: we are asking them, “What about the agreement which we negotiated and reached a draft in May? What about the issue of UTAS, which they said we should give them since January? Would they implement them?
“we are in the month of December, what about the issue of inconsistency of payment by IPPIS, what has the Federal government done?”
“We have exhausted all options; Nigerians should suggest other ways to deal with this, because the only thing the government listens to is a strike.” He said.
The president released this statement after the union had given the federal government notice in the month of November to resolve the issues, but they said nothing changed till now. They did not solve any issues, according to the president.
Meanwhile, Charles Akpan, spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, stated that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) does not need to go on strike because the Federal government has released up to 52.5 billion naira for lecturers’ earned allowances and infrastructure revitalization.
“The Federal Government has finished preparation and the money has entered ASUU’s band account since Saturday. What remains is to do the distribution, and from today it could start.” The spokesperson said.
“Concerning the UTAS and IPPIS, the Federal government is still working on them. The major one is the earned allowances and revitalization, and the federal government has paid the money into their account.” He added