Don't Push US To The Wall, ASUU Warns FG

•Dr. Nasir Fagge Isa

Dr. Nasir Fagge Isa, ASUU President

Damilare Okunola

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has asked the Federal Government to remember the agreement it had with it before calling off its six-month old strike in 2013.

The union had on 17 December, 2013, called off its industrial action after reaching an agreement with the Federal Government to bring the crisis under control.

Claims made by ASUU regarding the strike centered largely on funding and revitalization of Nigerian public universities as well as allowance which it claims to be in  arrears of 92 billion naira.

Now, the union is asking the FG to fulfil the promise it made and the agreement it signed or risk another confrontation.

Dr. Ademola Aremu, National Treasurer of ASUU, in a chat with P.M.NEWS Campus Square, disclosed that the union has been trying to call the attention of the FG but they have refused to heed their warnings because of the forthcoming elections.

He warned on the danger about such negligence as the union may be forced to take drastic actions if the Federal Government continues to turn deaf ears to its calls.

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“They are all dancing towards politics despite our many pleas with them to reason with us but we will keep reminding them so that the public does not give us a negative name,” Dr. Aremu said.

Some students had in their new year wish list told P.M.NEWS Campus Square that they pray for the academic calendar to go as planned this year because they are scared of a repeat of the ceaseless strike which had characterized the education sector in recent years.

And the union had earlier confirmed the disbursement of the initial amount paid into the union’s account to work on development of universities in the country.

But, asked if ASUU is guaranteeing students a strike-free 2015, Aremu retorted that the industrial action is always a last resort. “Why are you asking me the question as if ASUU is a body which thrives only on industrial actions? It is always the last resort for us because we explore every avenue before concluding that strike may be the best to press home our demands.

“Currently, there is a document which has been signed. What we are asking for is a total implementation of that but they are not even listening to us at all.

“I can assure students that there is no impending strike unless the Federal Government pushes us to the wall with their negligence,” he explained.

Efforts to speak with the president of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, on the situation proved futile as calls put through to his phone number were not picked.