November 25, 2013

ASUU Factions Plan to End Strike This Week

The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) is planning to end the ongoing five-month strike mid- January next year, a faction of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter alleged on Monday.

The faction, however, insisted that the closure of Nigerian universities by the lecturers must end this week.

Leader of the faction, Dr Adeyemi Daramola, a lecturer in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts accused the body of assuming oracular posture on the strike.

According to him, “The position of ASUU has not demonstrated original function of its rules which says “reports on agreement from the union universities’ branches should be collated and announced”.

“ASUU-NEC has assumed an oracular posture by its very poor communication to members, government and the Nigerian society.

“The target of ASUU is to call off the strike by mid January of 2014 which is no longer a rumour in the domain of its members. We have postponed other meetings of this pressure version of UNILAG ASUU to discuss issues and shall call a new one if ASUU NEC fails to suspend the strike before the end of the week.
“If necessary, we shall take all legitimate steps to ensure that normalcy is restored to all the Nigerian universities as soon as possible, as the group would not accept the rumour of a resumption date fixed for January, 2014. About two universities’ academic calendar have been wasted on strike, including lecturers’ four months salaries lost.”

Controversies have continued to trail the participation of UNILAG’s chapter of the union, with the new faction allegedly creating uproar at the congress held in the institution yesterday.

Another leader of the anti-strike faction, Dr Michael Ogbeide of the History Department told the Nigerian Tribune on phone that “the ASUU strike had become nonsense and must be stopped. A lot of our members also believe so but are afraid to speak out.”

He assured that the faction would keep pressurising the leadership until the strike is called off.

When asked the next line of action if UNILAG ASUU leadership did not accede to the faction’s request, he said “as an historian, in war, you don’t divulge your strategy before hand.”

Early on Monday morning, there were rumours that the UNILAG ASUU had decided to withdraw from the strike, but this was debunked by some members of the union, though it was confirmed that there was a split among the members, with Daramola’s faction reportedly kicking against the institution’s continued participation in the strike.

According to a source who pleaded anonymity, the congress actually turned out disorganised and divided, as some members, during the meeting began to protest, demanding UNILAG’s withdrawal from the strike.

It was learnt that after the meeting became rowdy, the two factions later held separate meetings, with both reportedly resolving to maintain their postures. The main body insisted that the strike would be on until grey areas are sorted out.

Minister condemns ASUU’s conditions for suspension of strike
The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike has condemned the new conditions set out by the leadership of ASUU as a yardstick to call off its over four month old strike.

The minister, who said he was going to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan on the development, said the union wants immediate implementation of the N1.2 trillion offered by the government to public universities, starting with the release of N100 billion this year and the balance of N1.1 trillion to be spread over five years from 2014.

Wike, who spoke in Abuja on Monday added, that the Union though indicated readiness to call off the over-prolonged industrial action.

He stressed that the Federal Government and members of the National Assembly would engage the union further on its decision. According to him, “ASUU has given new conditions, after they had an agreement with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Villa.

“He said, he would meet with the President on the new conditions by ASUU.

Among the three conditions given by ASUU in order to end the strike were payment of four months salary arrears which accumulated during the period of the strike; immediate implementation of the N1.2 trillion offered by the government to public universities, starting with the release of N100bn this year and the balance of N1.1tn to be spread over five years from 2014”.

The union also demanded that the salary arrears must not be paid piecemeal. These were some of the resolutions reached by members of the National Executive Council of the union that met in Kano on Friday which has been sent to the Federal Government before they will call off the strike.

Reports indicated that the university lecturers in Nigeria have agreed to end the five-month old strike by ASUU if the Federal Government agrees to three conditions.

EBSU dares ASUU, resumes tomorrow
The management of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki (EBSU) on Monday announced that academic activities would resume in all the campuses of the institution today.

It also ordered lecturers and students of the institution to return to classes following the inability of ASUU to end its over four- month strike in the country.

In a statement signed by the Registrar of the institution, Mr Sam N. Egwu, it stressed that the institution had resolved to commence academic activities, not minding the disagreement existing between ASUU and the Federal Government.

“Having waited patiently for Federal Government and ASUU to resolve the impasse behind the over four-month strike embarked upon by the union to no avail, the management of EBSU has resolved to re-open classes for learning to commence on Tuesday, the 26th day of November, 2013.

“We therefore inform all concerned that teaching and learning will begin fully on Tuesday, 26th, November, 2013. This is to enable us to cover what we have lost to the strike,” the statement read.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that the resolution was the outcome of the meeting held last week by the management of the institution, including lecturers where 80 per cent of the lecturers in attendance agreed that they should ignore the ASUU nationwide strike and return to class.

When Nigerian Tribune contacted the EBSU ASUU chairman, Professor Ndubuisi Idenyi, he dissociated the ASUU chapter of EBSU from the purported reopening by the management and maintained that the strike was still in progress until there is a directive from their national leadership.

Source: Nigerian Tribune

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