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ASUU Declares Indefinite Strike, Plans Increased Media Engagement

The choice was made at a Sunday in Abuja gathering of the union’s National Executive Council.

According to The PUNCH, the union began its current strike on February 14, 2022.

The strike is being held in opposition to the government’s refusal to release funds for university revitalization, the white paper report of the panel’s visit to universities, and the failure to implement the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of lecturers’ salaries and benefits.

ASUU strikes are to safeguard public universities, according to a statement released on Monday by the union’s president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke.

In the statement, Osodeke said the NEC regretted that the union had experienced deceit of the highest level for over five years, adding that the government engaged ASUU in fruitless and unending negotiation without a display of fidelity.

The statement read, “In view of the foregoing, and following extensive deliberations on government’s response to the resolution of February 14, 2022, so far, NEC concluded that the demands of the union had not been satisfactorily addressed. Consequently, NEC resolved to transmute the roll-over strike to a comprehensive, total and indefinite strike action beginning from 12.01am Monday, August 29, 2022.

“NEC acknowledges with appreciation past and current efforts by eminent Nigerians and groups to mediate in the lingering crisis. Our union remains open to reasonable engagements as we have always done.

“However, ASUU remains focused on the full implementation of the December 23, 2020 Memorandum of Action for quick restoration of industrial harmony in Nigeria’s public universities.

“NEC noted with pains, its concerns for Nigerians students who are also our wards and foster children and condemned government’s seeming indifference to their plights. Were it within our control, our universities would never have been shut for one day.”

A member of the NEC, who did not want his name in print because he is not the spokesman of the union, told The PUNCH that

, “The strike has been extended and the leadership has decentralised the communication channel. We have received mandates to engage more with the media and the public to educate them on the struggles of ASUU.”

State varsities’ pro-chancellors
The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of state universities on Monday said state universities cannot be coerced to implement the agreement reached between the Federal Government and lecturers in federal universities under the aegis of ASUU.

The pro-chancellors also said there was the need for the democratisation of membership of unions in universities.

According to The PUNCH, certain state institutions have come under pressure for continuing the strike that has been called by the ASUU national leadership.

The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-owned Universities read with alarm and disbelief a statement made by the President of the ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodike, on a television program, where he said state universities are “irrelevant and quacks,” on August 26, 2022, according to a communiqué signed by the Secretary, Marcus Awobifa, and made available to The PUNCH on Monday.

Our initial response was to ignore the President of ASUU’s tendentious, poorly thought-out, and blatantly unconscionable statement, but after some thought, we decided that it was necessary to respond to this rather unfortunate statement in light of the President of ASUU’s position within the Nigerian university system.

“Although COPSUN won’t want to engage in a debate with the leader of ASUU, the Committee wants to clarify the following:

“That the provosts of our state universities and, in fact, the council members are illustrious and talented people who have served and are now serving this country in a variety of roles.

Amongst the members are retired Ambassadors, retired Generals in the Armed forces, retired Vice-Chancellors, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, renowned politicians and other distinguished professionals.”