Nigerian students demonstrating against the continued closure of schools due to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The march was held in Ado-Ekiti, state capital., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
ASUU intensifies public enlightenment campaign over strike
Published: Tuesday, 29 October 2013 21:59 Written by From Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia) and Abba Anwar (Kano)
Abia students give seven-day ultimatum to end industrial action
THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has increased its public enlightenment campaign strategy to sensitise the various segments of the Nigerian society on its demand from the Federal Government.
ASUU’s strategy was to educate and inform members of the public and the other sectors of the economy on the details, key points and the need by government to respect an agreement reached between it and the government in 2009.
ASUU’s acting Branch chairman of the Kano State University of Science and Technology, Wudil, (KUST), Dr. Audu Yaro said during the branch’s public enlightenment campaign rally at the university campus, yesterday that it was a blatant lie to say Nigerian economy would be shut down if ASUU’s demands were implemented.
“We are not taking any promises from government any more. We have seen what happened to primary education and secondary education. We will not allow a similar thing to apply to university education. That will be over our dead bodies. What the government is doing is a deliberate attempt to thwart and kill our universities”, he said.
He regretted that children were at home not because ASUU wanted them to be at home, but rather, it was because government wanted children to remain at home. He informed the audience that government was not ready to do anything regarding the recommendations of the NEEDS Committee established by the government, in trying to see how agreements could be implemented.
The purpose of this public enlightenment campaign, according to the chairman was to sensitise all stakeholders in the education sector on the ongoing strike action embarked by university lecturers. “We are doing this to tell the truth of the matter as far as this strike action is concerned. We are seeing some disgruntled elements using some divisive tendencies to distort the fact about the strike action,” he disclosed.
Yaro revealed that ASUU had written close to100 letters to the Federal Government reminding it of the need to respect agreements reached with it but to no avail, adding that lecturers’ concern was not that of salary increase as being insinuated by some elements, but rather the decay in the education sector as a whole.
Student’s bodies were involved in the public campaign, where Umar Shehu Umar, past President of KUST said students were in support of the strike action, especially because the declining standard of university education needs to be redressed.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone B (Umuahia) yesterday issued a seven-day ultimatum to ASUU to call off the action it started since July 2013, failing which it would declare what it called ‘Aluta Confrontation’.
Zone’s Financial Secretary, Comrade Eluwa Miracle, addressing journalists in Umuahia, Abia State capital, said students by their long stay at home during the prevailing strike, instead of being in their campuses studying have resorted into various vices.
NANS, he said, is now of the opinion that the ASUU strike was for selfish desires and politically-motivated.
“NANS Abia State chapter condemns in strong terms the lingering nationwide strike embarked upon by ASUU. The timing is not only wrong but detrimental to the security and economic situation of the country”.