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No hope in sight to ending or suspending the ASUU strike - ASUU tells students

logo, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has said the the ongoing strike will not end anytime soon
Ernest Sunday

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has told students and parents that the ongoing ASUU strike will not end anytime soon as the union had been advised to seek another means of surviving.

The union disclosed this on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, after a meeting with the President of Nigeria Mohammadu Buhari and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and other stakeholders and agencies at Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to ASUU'S Abuja Zonal Coordinator, Prof. Theophilus Lagi, the Federal Government is yet to show any serious commitment in resolving the payment issue which has been withheld since February 2020.

ASUU laid the blame on the Ngige and stated that he has no respect for Nigerian academics.

“Today, we wish to let Nigerians, especially our students and parents know that there is no hope in sight to ending or suspending the ASUU strike that has lingered for several months.

"The government is yet to show serious commitment towards addressing our core demands, " said the union.

“Our members have been advised to seek other legitimate means of survival as the government has not released salaries withheld since February 2020.’’

“One needs not to be a psychologist to understand the behaviour and recent utterances of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

"The Minister has clearly shown his disdain for Nigerian academics and has failed to play the role of an unbiased umpire in moderating the imbroglio.

“He has now become the spokesperson to the Accountant General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance, instead of finding a solution for lecturers to get back to work.

"He is turning the wheel of progress backwards by setting ASUU on a collision course with other pressure groups in the university. Clearly, Dr Ngige is on a war part with ASUU.

“As men of letters, we would have elected to ignore Senator Chris Ngige’s deliberate misinformation and deceit. So, this response is more to straighten the record than it is to massage the minister’s ego.

‘’In one of his comedies of error, Ngige told the nation that the striking lecturers had been paid salaries up to date when he knew university lecturers were being owed salaries for between nine and six months for no just cause.

‘’In another fit of treachery, the Minister during a recent budget defence at the National Assembly, while upholding the existence of University Autonomy Law, attempted in vain to redefine its provisions.

“In the past few weeks, for instance, Ngige had said one thing when he met with the union and a different thing on the same subject in interviews with the media.

"This double character of a Minister and a purported negotiator in the face-off should be a source of worry to not only the body of Nigerian students but also parents who patronize public universities as the minister’s untoward attitude is undermining the reopening of these schools.

“In furtherance of his intimidation of the lecturers and misinformation of the public, Ngige argued that autonomy could not hold in the prevailing circumstance.

"On this, we would like to educate the Minister that public universities in Nigeria are creatures of law as each university is established by an Act enacted by the National Assembly.’’

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