..Why we called off strike?
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has, Thursday, suspended the over three months-old strike it embarked upon since Sunday, 4th November, 2018.
The union suspended the strike after a memorandum of Action, MoA, it reached with the Federal government towards the revitalisation of public universities.
The ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi who announced the suspension, however, said that the union had embarked on the strike to “stem the continued slide into rot and decay in public universities since the 1980s.
” He however decried the unpatriotic attitudes of some university chancellors whom he said tried to undermine the union’s struggle towards ensuring that universities in the country are revitalised.
The statement reads thus:
“ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF UNIVERSITIES (ASUU), NATIONAL SECRETARIAT. TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF UNIVERSITIES (ASUU), THURSDAY, 7TH FEBRUARY, 2019, AT NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS HEADQUARTERS, PASCAL BAFYAU HOUSE, ABUJA
Friends and compatriots of the Press, On Sunday, 4th November, 2018, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) resumed its strike action which was conditionally suspended on 14th September, 2017.
The action of 2017 was suspended following the signing of a Memorandum of Action (MoA) in which the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) promised to address the contentious issues within a timeline that was to end in October 2017.
While announcing the suspension of the nationwide action, however, our Union made it categorically clear that “ASUU will not hesitate to review its position should government renege on the signed Memorandum of Action”.
Predictably, Government implemented the MoA in the breach, thereby forcing ASUU to resume the suspended strike action.
Comrades and compatriots, as we have always argued, the last thing ASUU members love doing is to cause disruption in smooth intellectual engagements with colleagues, friends and students right on our university campuses.
This has nothing to do with the dubious advertorial of “non-disruption of academic calendar” by proprietors and administrators of some cash-and-carry universities and other self-styled enemies of ASUU.
Rather, it is about deep-seated pains members of the Union undergo to prevent strike actions and the equally painful consequences strike situations bring to all who are genuinely averse to the mercantile disposition to university education.
Why Strike Action? The question has been asked time and time again: Why does ASUU like embarking on strike action that causes disruption and dislocation in the universities?
However, ASUU is strongly convinced that if academics fail to fight the cause of university education, the fate that befell public primary and secondary schools would soon become the lot of the public university system in Nigeria.
ASUU’s advocacy on the need to stem the continued slide into rot and decay in public universities since the 1980s has fallen on deaf ears. Our experience, as a trade union, shows that successive governments in Nigeria always entered into negotiated agreements only to placate those pleading the cause – be it education, health, transportation, employment or any other issue of meaningful living.
This proclivity of the Nigerian ruling class, irrespective of which wing of the insensitive stock they belong, must be continually be tracked, engaged and resisted by all people of goodwill.
ASUU ‘s action strike, which started on 4th November, 2018, was situated in the context of accumulated records of indifference and lackadaisical attitude of Government to negotiated agreements with the Union.