The Academic Staff Union of Universities has described as regrettable the Federal Government’s handling of the issues which led to a two-week warning strike by its members across the country.
ASUU Coordinator, Bauchi Zone, Prof Lawan Abubakar, said this at a press conference in Jos on Friday.
The Bauchi Zone of ASUU comprises six universities, namely the University of Jos; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State; Federal University Kashere, Gombe State; Gombe State University; Plateau State University, Bokkos; and Bauchi State University, Bauchi.
Abubakar said the Federal Government must honour the agreement which it signed with the union in 2019. He said the agreement included the provision of sustainable funding for the revitalisation of public universities, payment of the arrears of earned academic allowances, reconstitution of visitation panels to federal universities, as well as the need to address the issue of the proliferation, underfunding and interference in governance by state governments.
The ASUU coordinator said it was unfortunate that instead of taking the advantage of the two weeks warning strike to show commitment towards the implementation of the 2019 Memorandum of Action, the Federal Government had continued to blackmail the union and engage in misrepresentation of facts aimed at misinforming members of the public on the agreement.
Abubakar said, “ASUU had remained calm and patient throughout 2019 and beyond and it is clear that the union has given the government a very long rope.
Ordinarily, one would have expected the government to reciprocate this gesture with a faithful implementation of the remaining five aspects of the 2019 Memorandum of Action.
“Instead, the Federal Government has resorted to blackmailing ASUU, encouraging division in the union and a forcefully implementing the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, an issue that has already been settled since 2014, among others.
“So, we are really disappointed at the attitude of the government towards resolving the contending issues.”
Abubakar, who was represented at the press conference by the Chairman of ASUU at the University of Jos, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, said ASUU would neither be intimidated nor diverted by the antics of the government.
He added, “There shall be no retreat or surrender in this war for the souls of the Nigerian public universities. Strike has always been the last option of ASUU.
“The Bauchi Zone of ASUU would once more appeal to all stakeholders, particularly the Federal Government, to do the needful by implementing the agreement before the expiration of the two weeks warning strike which started on March 9, 2020 so as to avoid any escalation of the issues at hand.”
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