Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said the union would continue to protect public universities from collapse and fight for the interest of its members as well as that of Nigerians students despite the federal government’s seeming attempt to destroy public universities.
ASUU’s chairman, University of Ibadan (UI), Professor Ayoola Akinwole, stated this at a stakeholder’s congress and protest rally, noting that the government’s failure despite reaching an agreement with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajiabiamila, which led to the suspension of the strike is worrisome.
According to him, none of the items on the said agreement had been implemented, adding that the agreement with the speaker included that the government was going to sign the new salary package, payment of the withheld salaries from March to October 2022, payment of the withheld third-party deductions, including check-off dues from March to October 2022 and non-victimization of ASUU members who took part in the strike.
“Today’s protest has become necessary due to our conviction that the federal government is on a mission to destroy the public universities through inadequate funding, and through its war against ASUU,” Akinwole said.
He said the war against ASUU by the government and the Nigerian elites had manifested in various ways such as, violation and repudiation of all extant agreements reached with union, forcing the union into strike, prolonging the strike by its inaction and victimization of ASUU members for embarking on strike, which they were forced into by the negligence and inaction by the government.”
He said ASUU, Ibadan Zone, is protesting the victimisation of members by the federal government and its agents.
He alleged that ASUU members were being treated differently from members of other unions that also embarked on strike to press home their demands.
“For instance, the members of the research institutes embarked on 12-month strike and their salaries were paid throughout the period they were on strike.”