ASUU Extends Ongoing Strike by Three Months
By Adedapo Adesanya
The ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been extended by additional 12 weeks (three months) after the two-month warning strike expired.
This was disclosed by the president of the union, Mr Emmanuel Osodeke on Monday.
In a statement he issued after an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the association at the University of Abuja, the ASUU president said the decision was to give the government enough time to resolve all outstanding issues with the lecturers.
“After extensive deliberations, noting the 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 ASUU president’s statement read.
“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022,” he added.
ASUU also expressed dissatisfaction with the three-man panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in February to resolve the lingering industrial action.
“NEC was equally disappointed that ASUU’s only meeting with the Professor Nimi Briggs-led Renegotiation Committee did not reflect the expected level of understanding, preparation, and clarity that undergird collective bargaining going by the Committee’s confession of ‘going about consulting stakeholders’, the statement added.
“Unless urgent steps are taken to redirect the Committee on concluding a draft Agreement that has been pending since May 2021, its activities may end up as another wild goose chase,” ASUU said.
The union was also full of commendations for the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), students’ groups, and civil society organisations “who have taken steps towards resolving the current labour dispute with the Nigerian government”.
The planned trip by spouses of vice-chancellors, ASUU said, is despicable and condemnable.
“The advertised five-day conference in Istanbul is a waste of scarce resources of our universities; it is insensitive and provocative, particularly at a time like this when lecturers are denied their salaries for daring to struggle to improve the lot of our public universities,” ASUU maintained.
The extension came days after the Federal Government said it would resume talks with the striking lecturers this week.