2019: Why ASSU Strike May Linger Beyond Election
The strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may not be called off until after the general elections of 2019.
It is nearly two months since the union embarked on an industrial action to force the government to implement agreements reached in 2009 and 2017, but it appears the nothing is changing.
Everything is falling apart in the education section and Nigerian government's institutions have continued to produce unemployable graduates.
Talks after talks have been held since the union embarked on the strike, but nothing has changed, the students' graduation date is surely extended.
On Sunday, the union said it may not honour further calls by the Federal Government for meeting on the way forward over the strike.
One person that has lost hope that such talks would yield result is the National President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi.
Professor Ogunyemi, who gave an update on the the union's struggle to salvage the country’s public universities from deterioration at a news conference in Lagos, said that the union had had series of meetings with the government and written series of letters with little or nothing to the effect.
“Since the commencement of this strike, we have had six meetings with agents of the Federal Government, with no clear commitment from government to resolving the issues we presented.
“Government appears to have adopted ‘keep them talking’ strategy while deceiving the public that progress was being made and that partial agreements had been reached between union and government.
'Show Commitment And Sincerity'
“We want to say that government has continually and falsely raised the hopes of the Nigerian public on the state of duscussion 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.
“Our expectation from a very responsive and sincere position is that by now, all outstanding issues would gave been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
“Unfortunately, the government is yet to show commitment and sincerity in addressing these problems," he said.
The union also said it had lost faith in the leadership of the government's team.
“We have strong reasons to believe that the continuation of Dr Wale Babalakin as the head of the renegotiation with ASUU will not yield good fruit,” The President of ASUU said.
He further emphasised that the development Nigeria sought would not come except the education sector is fixed.
"Insurgency will increase, banditry, poverty, kidnapping, misery and other societal ills will continue.
"Let me also 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 problem for this country but let the government do the right thing,” he said.
He pleaded with parents to understand that the strike, which started on November 4, would benefit parents, students and ASUU and that it was focused on ensuring that Nigeria's education system would be able to banish poverty, ignorance, squalor, insecurity, disease and corruption.
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