The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Monday began a four-week strike following the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands.
The National President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, disclosed this during a press conference at the University of Lagos, Akoka, after the union’s National Executive Committee meeting, which started on Friday.
Osodeke said since the last meeting the union had with the Federal Government in December 2021, it had not received any formal invitation from government.
As such, Osodeke said NEC resolved to embark on “a four week-roll-over total and comprehensive strike action” beginning from Monday (yesterday).
ASUU’s declaration, however, attracted different reactions with some state governments advising lecturers in their universities against joining the strike.
The state governments said the trade dispute was between the Federal Government and ASUU, adding that they did not sign any agreement with the union.
But the ASUU president at the press conference in Lagos justified the decision to commence an immediate strike action.
He stated, “Considering that the government has failed to fully implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the ASUU on December 23, 2020; given that the draft report of the renegotiated 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement has been submitted for finalisation for more than nine months; and noting that the forceful payment of ASUU members’ salaries and emoluments with the integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System and non-adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution have continued to short-change our members, NEC resolved to embark on a four-week roll-over total and comprehensive strike action beginning from Monday, 14th February 2022.”
Rollover means we will continue strike after expiration of four weeks if FG fails – ASUU Chairman
Later in an interview with The PUNCH, ASUU Chairman at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta , Dr. Gbenga Adeleye, explained that strike rollover meant the union would not suspend its current strike if the Federal Government failed to meet the demands of the union .
He stated, “The strike has a time lapse for which we expect government to attend to those issues . Now , if they do not attend to those issues , we are at liberty to start another strike again.
“Why we say it is a rollover strike is because normally we suspend a strike and forget about it and wait till the promises are fulfilled .This one, its suspension may be reviewed and we can start another one almost at the expiration of the first one.”
State govs oppose action in state Universities
As ASUU began the strike, some state governments said lecturers in their universities had no reason joining the industrial action.
Our varsity lecturers have no business going on strike, we didn’t sign agreement with ASUU – Anambra
We have no problem with our lecturers that can make them join strike – Benue
On his part, the Benue State Commissioner for Education, Sarwuan Tarmongo stated, “We don’t have any problem with our university lecturers that will make them to join the strike because we don’t joke with them (both academic and non-academic staff). they have been placed on first-line charge and we wouldn’t advise that they join national strike of ASUU.”
We won’t support our varsity lecturers joining the strike, we have no dispute with them – Delta commissioner
The state Commissioner for High Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday, stated, “Though, I have not heard from the university, but there is no way the state government will support them joining the strike.
In Katsina State, Governor Aminu Masari’s Special Adviser on Education,Dr.Bashir Ruwangodiyat, said the state was not in support of the strike declared by ASUU.
Ruwangodiya declared that the state had no issue with the state Chapter of the ASUU,adding that government held regular dialogue with lecturers in Umaru Musa Yaradua University and other higher institutions
Ekiti State Commissioner for Education, Dr Modupe Aderiye, said on Monday that there was no way the industrial action declared by ASUU could be of interest to any state government.
The Enugu State Government said it would not support lecturers in the Enugu State University of Technology joining the strike.
In Ogun State, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu said the state government had no problem with the lecturers in its universities.