The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that it will continue its ongoing strike that has crippled the Nigerian educational system and cease all meetings with the Federal Government, until the previous agreements and Memorandums of Understandings are fully implemented.
Backstory: After embarking on what it described as a ‘total, comprehensive and indefinite strike’ on November 4, ASUU has through its National President, Biodun Ogunyemi, stated that it may not honor further invitations for talks by the Federal Government on how to resolve the current strike started by its members.
Speaking at a news conference in Lagos on Sunday, Ogunyemi made it known that in a bid to bring attention to and help improve the condition of the nation’s public institutions, and protect the interest of those responsible for imparting knowledge, it had tried to engage the Federal Government in dialogue, however there is a lack of effort on the FG side.
Its Issues: The union is currently protesting lack of funding and welfare for its members, the non-implementation of agreements made between it and the Federal Government between 2009 and 2017 and other issues affecting public tertiary institutions.
“The Federal Government should demonstrate serious commitment to implement the spirit and letters of the 2009 Federal Governmental/ASUU agreement. It should also consider the implementation of the 2013 and 2017 Memorandum of Understanding, MoU it had with us.”
“Since the commencement of this strike, we have had six meetings with agents of the Federal Government, with no clear commitment form the government to resolving the issues we presented”.
He also explained that the government has adopted a tactic of keeping up appearances and raising the hopes of the Nigerian populace by creating the illusion to Nigerians that issues were being addressed, and agreements between them and ASUU were yielding fruit, while nothing was being done.
“We want to say that the government has continually and falsely raised the hopes of the Nigerian public on the state of discussions with our union and we may not be interested in holding further dialogue with them until we see signs of commitment and sincerity in addressing the issues before them.”
2019 general elections: The president of the union reiterated that the strike was mutually exclusive from the forthcoming general elections and that the union was in no way a political ploy in the race.
“Let me state clearly too that our strike has nothing to do with politics or election, as is being speculated in some sectors of the society. We have never thought of aborting any election. We do not want to create problems for this country but let the government do the right thing”.
Bottom line: Nigerians seem to have already given up about schools reopening possibly until after the elections.