Strike: ASUU Defies FG’s Directive, Says they Are Waiting for their Sack Letter
Members of the Academic staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday defied federal government’s ultimatum to resume work or face sack, but rather said they were only waiting for the sack letters the Federal Government threatened to give them if they did not return to work.
Federal Government had last week issued a directive to Governing Councils and Vice Chancellors in all the public universities to re-open the institutions on December 9, with a sack threat to any defaulting lecturer, but investigations reveals that the striking teachers refused to sign the attendance registers in their respective institutions as ordered by the government.
In most universities across the country, lecture rooms remains shut, indicating lecturers’ resolve to continue the strike until ordered otherwise by their principal body, ASUU.
Among some of the universities were no semblance of academic activity is taking place were the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Calabar, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, and the University of Uyo.
Others are Obafemi Awolwo University, Ile-Ife, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.
National Treasurer of ASUU, Dr. Ademola Aremu, said they would have wasted their time and effort if they caved in and returned to work under threat.
He said, “How can you call off a strike when there is nothing to show for it? The government is not qualified to call off the strike. Our union is awaiting the government to state all it has done in black and white. However, it is a serious insult on us for the government to be harassing us with sacking threat. We are not casual workers or labourers. Our research work has been ongoing.”
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, urged the striking teachers to call off the industrial action.
The President, who spoke at the All Nigerian Judges Conference organised by the National Judicial Council in Abuja, on Monday, said the industrial action would prevent the country from achieving the Vision 2020 target of becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020.
Although the Federal Government had recently threatened to sack the lecturers for going on strike, Jonathan noted that ASUU had the right to embark on the industrial action.
He said, “This administration recognises and respects the right of workers, including the right to embark on industrial action to press home their demand and have taken concrete steps to address the grievances of ASUU.
“I therefore use this occasion to call on ASUU to call off its strike.”
“With this Nigeria’s quest to become one of the world’s 20th largest economies by the year 2020 cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of industrial disharmony.
“Nigeria’s geopolitical history has been characterised by incessant labour dispute and industrial action.
“While views may differ on the utility of industrial action as a means of advancing the collective interest of workers in the polity, it is an unassailable fact that labour and industrial harmony is sine qua non to the socio-economic development of any nation, Nigeria inclusive.”
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