The ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is set to hit 168 days on August 1.
This is as the union announced a 12-week extension of the action on Monday, after it had already lasted 84 days. It began on February 14.
In a statement signed by Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU chairman, the union said it was giving the federal government time to resolve all outstanding issues satisfactorily.
The statement read, “After extensive deliberations, noting government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.
“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022.”
Osodeke said the decision was arrived at by ASUU’s National Executive Council (NEC) during an emergency meeting held on Sunday at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja.
He said the NEC condemned the poor attitude of the political class, and faulted how politicians were paying hundreds of millions of naira to purchase expression of interest and nomination forms of political parties while public universities were shut.
The statement read, “NEC was shocked that public universities have remained closed for about three months while members of the political class were busy purchasing expression of interest and nomination forms worth several millions of Naira in preparations for 2023 elections!
“Those in power turned their back on our degraded universities as they shuttle between Europe and America to celebrate the graduation of their children and wards from world class universities.
“This speaks volumes on the level of depravity, insensitivity, and irresponsibility of Nigeria’s opportunistic and parasitic political class.
“The result of the criminal neglect of education and gross mismanagement of the nation’s patrimony is evident in the collapse of the security architecture of our nation.
“Insecurity is getting worse by the day and spreading like the harmattan inferno in hitherto peaceful and secured parts of Nigeria, including university campuses. ASUU warns, once more, that unless something drastic is done to reverse these ugly trends, the country may be headed for a state of anarchy.
“NEC condemned the provocative statements of some government functionaries and salutes the Nigerian Labour Congress, patriotic students’ groups and civil society organisations who have taken steps towards resolving the current labour dispute with the Nigeria government.”
The NEC also condemned the planned trip to Istanbul and Turkey for wives of vice chancellors in Nigerian public universities.
If both ASUU and the federal government do not arrive at a resolution before August 1, it means ASUU would have been on strike for six months, three months shy of its nine-month strike embarked upon in 2020.
Its demands include renegotiation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, use of UTAS payment platform against IPPIS for payment of salaries and allowances of lecturers, among others.
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