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Crises, strikes in varsities not over –ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has called on the Federal Government to resolve outstanding issues before the suspension of its 10-month strike to guarantee peace in universities.

The union said that the government was indebted to many of its members in different universities, with between three and 14 months arrears being owed.

ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said these in an interview with Sunday PUNCH.

Asked what would happen should the government remain recalcitrant, he said he would continue from where his predecessor, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, stopped.

“It is continuity, we run a collective leadership. So, it’s continuity from where my immediate predecessor stopped. It (the crisis) is not yet over. The government has the opportunity to ensure that the crises are over. It is just to implement those things,” Osodeke said.

According to him, after developing the University Transparency and Accountability Solution as an alternative to the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, ASUU members are “bleeding” while people are being paid what pleases the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

Osodeke said, “You know we were on strike till late last year. We reached an agreement on how to implement the outstanding issue with the government. We will expect the government to implement those issues with timelines.

“They have reneged on a number of them in line with the timelines. But, we believe that it is not late; they can still resolve those issues for the peace and development of our universities.

“They cut your salary today, they pay those who they want to pay today, they withdraw those next week; they expect those people to come to Abuja to come and beg them or look for other things for them. So, these cannot continue in a university system.

“As a union, we don’t love strike because we have our children here. Ninety-nine per cent of lecturers in Nigeria have their children in Nigerian universities, unlike the politicians who are actually destroying the system. How many of them have their children in this country.

Source: PUNCH

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