BREAKING: ASUU to declare nationwide strike over unmet demands

BREAKING: ASUU to declare nationwide strike over unmet demands

The Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) has expressed readiness to declare a nationwide strike anytime, for all its members across public universities in the country.

According to the union, the issue regarding the councils is about tenure and that the tenure of the former councils had not lapsed before they were removed from office, adding that the action of the FG smacked of illegality.

Briefing newsmen at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, on Tuesday, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Adelaja Odukoya, said the only condition for dismantling the former councils should be that they have breached the law setting them up.

He spoke against the backdrop of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Obafemi Awołowo University, Ile-Ife, between Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May 2024.

“The issue is about the tenure of the councils. They had a tenure that they were not allowed to complete. That is illegal. The only condition that they could have been disbanded was if they committed any offence or were involved in any illegality. That was not the case. They were just swept away like that. We want them to be returned.

“If we allow this illegal act by the government to go unchallenged, somebody could just wake up from the wrong side of the bed one day and say he is even disbanding the universities. The President has a tenure of office, how would he feel if he is asked to go home when his tenure has not lapsed.

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“The fact that some unions and people are thumbing up the composition of the councils does not mean they spoke for us as a union. The situation has led to some vice chancellors behaving like emperors on campuses. We have issues in some universities and we are tackling those things,” he said.

On the non-release of the withheld salaries of ASUU members, Odukoya said the government would not succeed in what it termed efforts to foist a master-servant relationship on lecturers.

“We are not slaves and we are not afraid to go on strike, the court case instituted against us by the former administration has been concluded. There is nothing stopping us from going on strike if the need arises.

“They promised us when they came in that there would be peace and harmony on our campuses, but already, they are toeing the path of war.”

Recall that ASUU on February 14, 2022, embarked on a strike, which lasted eight months, to press home its demands for a better welfare package, and revamping of the nation’s education sector among others.

The strike forced many Nigerian students to be at home and the government consequently insisted that the lecturers would not be paid for the period.

The Federal Government then dragged ASUU before the National Industrial Court over the demand of the Union for the payment of their salaries from February 14 to October 7, 2022, when the strike was called off

However, in October 2023, Tinubu President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ordered the release of Nigerian lecturers’ withheld salaries over the 2022 ASUU strike.

Tinubu approved the partial waiver of the “No Work, No Pay” Order that was instituted against striking members of the ASUU following the commencement of their eight-month industrial action.

The president invoked the Principle of the Presidential Prerogative of Mercy.

~ Intel Region