The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), Akure Zone has disclosed that the industrial action embarked upon by the union may last years if the Federal Government refuses to honour its agreement with the union holistically.
This is as the union disclosed that the FG resumed negotiation with the union out of jittery of the #EndSARS protest embarked upon by the youths across the country.
Addressing a Press Conference at ASUU Secretariat inside Obafemi Awolowo University Campus on Friday, the Coordinator ASUU, Akure Zone, Professor Olu Olufayo said the union, unlike in the past, has resolved to remain on strike until the FG reaches concrete terms with respect to implementing the 2009 agreement, the Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 and the Memorandum of Actions signed in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
He stated that the federal government’s narrative that the union was on strike because of its rejection of IPPIS is an attempt to blackmail it, saying the union resumed strike over eleven (11) years old crisis bordering on funding for revitalisation of public universities, payment of backlog of earned allowances owed its members and renegotiation of 2009 FG/ASUU agreement.
Prof. Olufayo who was flanked by Chairmen of ASUU of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr Olayinka Awopetu, Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, Ekiti State ll, Dr Kayode Arogundade and Federal University, Oye, Dr Gabriel Omonijo, said the should declare emergency in the education sector and shut public universities for a period within which the goverment should put things in order for proper training, research and community development
Also, the union leader stated that the body is surprised that the federal government is calling it back to the round table for negotiation during the #EndSARS protest, having neglected it during the six months of the pandemic that forced the closure of schools across the country.
“It is unfortunate that the government in the country does not care the quality of education available for the children of ordinary Nigerians since their children schooled abroad, hence, their refusal to honour the various agreement reached with ASUU for almost eleven years. We have also resolved to remain on strike for as long as possible to ensure that the FG commit to the agreement and take concrete steps towards ensuring quality public university education in the country.
We have told the FG to declare a state of emergency in the education sector, shut the schools for two or even five years within which it can fix the problem in the sector and ensure quality education in the country.
As you are all aware, our Union declared a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action in March this year. The action was declared to get the Federal Government to fulfil its obligations by implementing the agreement it reached with the Union in 2009, the memorandum of Understanding in 2013, the memorandum of Action in 2017 and the memorandum of Action in 2019. it is quite unfortunate that despite the diversity and luxuriant academia we are blessed with in the country, the government seems interested in education.
We have consistently drawn the attention of the government and the general public to the rot in the public University system and our spirited efforts at alleviating such to re-position the educational sector in the country for national development. Our efforts have been constantly frustrated by the federal government and thus putting our students at the university
“It is no longer news that students are terribly crowded in the lecture rooms and hostels, and public universities do not have adequate facilities to execute their mandate religiously. We are almost always subjected to resulting to painful strike actions to commit the Nigerian government to act in this regard.