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    Friday, June 28, 2024

    Political, Diplomatic Means Have Failed – ASUU Mobilizes for Fresh Strike

    Protesting members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN Chapter, on Thursday,  threatened to embark on strike over the failure of the Federal Government to address their grievances.

    Members of ASUU-UNN who bore different placards such as “Government, stop forcing ASUU to embark on strike; government, honour  agreements with ASUU; Government, don’t kill university education in Nigeria; Nigeria lecturers are the least paid in the globe,” among other inscriptions, urged the Federal Government to renegotiate the 2009 agreement with the Union.

    Addressing UNN Management shortly after the Union’s protest, the Chairman of ASUU-UNN, Comrade Oyibo Eze, described Nigeria’s government as hypocritical and wicked, adding that the presidency and members of the National Assembly keep appropriating common treasuries to themselves for their selfish interests while allowing the masses to wallow in abject poverty.

    He further said that members of the Union had employed both diplomatic and political means to make the Presidency address their greviances, regretting that both had failed despite President Bola Tinubu’s promise to end ASUU strike on assumption of office.

    “Every effort to renegotiate the 2009 agreement with federal government has proved abortive. Also, during the campaign of President Bola Tinubu, he made it clear that he would end ASUU strike by fulfilling all the demands of the Union, but immediately he assumed office, he never made efforts to match his words with action. Immediately he assumed office, we articulated our grievances and sent to him, we have done that up to three times but we have not received any response from the government.

    “Since he assumed office one year ago, our Union has employed both political and diplomatic means to make Federal Government address our grievances, but none yielded any result. When Muhammadu Buhari, was in office, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, promised that our issues would be addressed immediately President Tinubu takes over, but now, he has not been picking our phone calls. He had been the one calling our National President, but now, our President calls him, but he won’t pick his calls,” Comrade Eze explained.

    Addressing members of the Union, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of UNN, Professor Johnson Urama, lauded members of the Union for using legitimate peaceful protest to register their dissatisfaction with the Federal Government.

    Professor Urama, equally appreciated the intervention of TETFund, which was the brainchild of ASUU in execution of projects in universities, expressing optimism that federal government would act fast to avert the looming ASUU strike which would disrupt academic activities in tertiary institutions.

    The union ended Its last strike, which lasted eight months, on October 14, 2022, following a ruling by the National Industrial Court and interventions by religious organizations and Femi Gbajabiamila, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Chief of Staff to the President.

    However, the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari did not pay their salaries for that period, adhering to the ‘no work, no pay’ policy and insisting on payment through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

    When President Bola Tinubu took office, he promised to address the issue of the withheld salaries. On February 19, 2024, the Federal Government began paying four months of the withheld salaries to union members.

    Despite this, the union remained dissatisfied, demanding full payment for the entire eight months, rejecting the newly-constituted governing councils, and calling on the Federal Government to implement the renegotiated 2009 agreement by the Nimi Briggs committee.

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