Students, traders, jubilate suspension of ASUU strike in Anambra

…as Unizik branch direct members to resume activities

STUDENTS of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and Traders in the state capital have expressed happiness over the decision by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its three-months-old strike.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Thursday agreed to suspend their strike, which has lasted for three months, after the Union signed all agreements with the Federal Government, following a conciliatory meeting in Abuja, which the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, represented the Federal Government, while the lecturers were represented by the union’s president Prof Biodun Ogunyemi.

Some students at the University campus told our correspondent on Friday that they were glad to hear that the union had suspended their strike.

Mr Izunna Okafor a final year student of the institution said he was short of words to express his happiness over the development.

He said: “I cannot express my joy since I heard the news that ASUU had suspended the three months strike this morning.

“I am in my final year and about to finish my clearance when lecturers commenced the strike.”

He said students would now resume normal academic activities fully probably after next week Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections.

He, however, urged Government to keep to the agreements reached with the lecturers so as to call off the strike permanently.

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“The Federal Government should try as much as possible to keep to the promises reached to ensure uninterrupted academic activities in future,” he added.

Also, traders, Mr John Ezeobi and Brother Chika Mbamalu, who also spoke to our correspondent on the issue expressed gratitude to ASUU and government for making it possible for academic activities to resume partially now that they are at the point of closing down their shops over low patronage as a result of the disagreement.

They said we are still afraid for now because the strike is not yet called off but under suspension. So we praying to God to come into the misunderstanding for the interest of future generation.

They, however, advised lecturers to always go for dialogue in resolving dispute rather than resorting to strike.

Meanwhile, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday has directed members of the union to begin partial academic activities depending when the MoU and MoA will be fully implemented by the Minister Labour, Senator Chris Ngige led Federal Government agreement, has been order by the National body.

The directive was given at a Congress of the union held at the school auditorium and presided over by the chairman, Comrade Stephen Ufoaroh. Comrade Ufoaroh said the development would normally be communicated to the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Joseph Ahanaku.

He said ASUU has shown enough understanding with the government. So the Federal Government should also do what is needed.

According to him, when asked whether lectures will commence immediately he said most the students and lecturers who are involved in the electoral process in one way or other may be travelling to their various places of voting which would begin February 16 but lecturers that have clearance engagement with graduating students have started working now.

He called on the university management to ensure conducive teaching, research and learning environment for academic activities to flow as usual now that the strike is suspended.

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