Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday stated that all chapters of the Union that started the over 6-month-old strike with the Union are intact and resolute to get what public universities need to survive and compete globally from the federal government of Nigeria.
The Union also says that lecturers in Nigerian public universities have been using their blood to run public universities and sustaining it saying that the Union will not sacrifice her members’ welfare and will resist any effort to turn intellectuals to slaves of irresponsible leadership.
The Chairman, ASUU University of Ibadan Chapter, Professor Ayo Akinwole who stated this in Ibadan asked Nigerians to disregard the lies of the federal government saying federal government is far from meeting any of the union’s seven demands.
According to the ASUU Boss, the Union gave 14-month strike notice to federal government before commencing the strike in 2022 adding that even the effort of the Nigerian Interreligious council in 2021 yielded no results before the Union was forced to declare the strike on February 14, 2022.
“We waited for 14 months from December 2020 to February 2022 before declaring this strike. I am saying 14 months’ notice, 14months engagements and Nigeria Inter-religious council intervened in 2021 when we would have declared the strike. We gave them one month with no result. Heroes are gone before they are appreciated but our union will not die. We will not die. We are going to be alive to see this struggle through”
Professor Akinwole, disclosed that the 1.1trillion naira for revatilisation of universities was not for lecturers in public universities added the amount was arrived at by Federal government through her NEEDS Assessment report on the level of decay in Nigerian public universities.
Ayoola who thanked ASUU members for sacrificing and remaining resolute to reposition public varsity education in Nigeria added that irresponsible leadership is the reason for strikes in Nigeria.
Professor Ayoola hinted that only strikes have forced government to spend money on her universities in the last twenty-five years.
“If ASUU does not go on this struggle, there will be no university for new people to attend. In the last twenty-five years, federal government will not spend money on their university unless ASUU goes on strike. Does that show they are responsible? I am also a parent and my children are home with me. Most lecturers have to spend their money on their students’ project for some students to graduate. I could give you numbers of some of my students who can tell you how much I have had to support their projects. Lecturers retain Nigerian public universities with their blood. But it is right for Nigerians to say they should die on the job. I am saying they are owing us over eight years verified earned academic allowances. Is it ASUU only that is on strike? Some sectors (research institutes) of the nation have been on strike for 13months and government has been paying their salaries. Is it an offence to become lecturers in Nigerian universities? What led to the strike? It is non-responsiveness of government that led to the strike.”
Ayoola who noted that federal government is not talking about the over eight years earned academic allowances owed lecturers in public universities.
He noted that government lied to the union severally and that the Buhari government instead of paying 220billion for meant for 2014 revitalization fund only paid 50billion to over 50 universities in the last seven years.
He said government has to pay the balance of 170billion to university management.
The ASUU chairman further stated that UTAS has proved to be better over IPPIS yet the government that accepted that IPPIS is a fraud is insisting on going ahead with the fraud and jettisoning homegrown solutions from Nigerian intellectuals who “developed it with the check off-dues of ASUU members, donations and free services and given free of charge to the government but the government still prefers the fraudulent IPPIS imposed on them by those given them loans from the Bretton woods institutions”