It is fight to the finish, ASUU vows

•Commends members’ resilience over strike

THE leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has vowed to remain on strike until its struggle is brought to a logical conclusion, declaring that the lecturers are not in violation of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria order by remaining on the strike. 

This view was expressed by ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, even as President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, reiterated his appeal to ASUU to call off the about eight months strike while the contending issues are being addressed. 

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues. But the union’s president in a letter dated 30th September, 2022 and addressed to all ASUU members providing them with update, insisted that the strike would not be called off until logical conclusion is achieved. 

He also noted that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, ruling ordering the Union to call off the strike, has been appealed in addition to stay on execution, hence ASUU is not in violation of that order by remaining on strike. 

Osodeke said: “Our strike action is in its 8-month. As we press on with the struggle, members are saluted for remaining steadfast in the face of deprivations occasioned by the stoppage of our salaries. “We have demonstrated to our maligners that we are a group of principled men and women who cannot be intimidated. 

“This resolve has started yielding fruits as demonstrated by series of engagements with us by relevant stakeholders and agents of government. 

“In the last two weeks, we have had two engagements with the leadership of House of Representatives, led by the Honourable Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila. 

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“The engagements have been useful and illuminating, and all the parties agreed that negotiation is the sustainable way out of the current impasse. 

“The distraction of the referral by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment to the National Industrial Court (NIC) had been responded to promptly and appropriately. 

“The interlocutory injunction had been appealed, in addition to a stay of execution. Consequently, we are not in violation of that order by remaining on our strike. 

“We remain hopeful that the issues under consideration will receive a favourable consideration and approval of Mr. President. 

“The days ahead would be critical to our struggle as some overzealous public officers who are bent on undermining our struggle would not easily give up. 

“However, we are encouraged by the development of the past week, and all that is expected of us now is to be eternally vigilant and resolute to pursue this struggle to a logical conclusion. 

“The Union is expecting feedback from the engagements of the leadership of the House of Representatives with Mr. President in the coming days.” 

Meanwhile, the National President of the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association, AlhajiIbrahim Sani Khalil has stated that the association has started engaging members of the ABU branch of ASUU for peace talk towards ending the prolonged strike action. He made this known in a press conference in Kaduna on Saturday ahead of the alumni Annual General Meeting (AGM)slated for next week. Khalil noted that members of the alumni were disturbed over the lingering crisis between the union and the university, saying, “it’s not in our interest.” 

He noted also that the seven month ASUU strike had impeded the running of universities in the country including ABU, “sincerely speaking we are not happy with that. Our children have stayed at home for a long time. 

“I think they have to go back. On our part, as stakeholders, we are not happy. We have started to engage the ASUU branch in peace talks. We have reached an appreciable understanding with them. They have seen reason.”


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