The Federal Government today reportedly issued an order giving the Academic Staff Union of Universoties an Ultimatum of one week to call off the strike, the Federal Government has also reportedly directed Federal University Vice Chancellors to reopen schools. Following the directive, some universities have reportedly reopened already while others are yet to reopen.
It was reported that the directive was given in Abuja by the Acting Minister of Education, Wike who has described ASUU’s fresh demands as outrageous, while addressing newsmen. It was reported that according to the directive, any lecturer who fails to resume duty after one week would be sacked.
Following the directive, the Management of University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) has directed that students of the school should resume academic activities on the December 1. The statement was reportedly signed by the University Registrar. However, reacting to the development, the ASUU Chairman, University of Abuja Chapter, Dr. Clement Chup has dared the University authority to reopen, that that would not make ASUU to rescind its earlier position demanding that the Federal Government should begin immediate implementation of the N1.1tr agreement by releasing the 100bilion in addition to the 30billion it promised would be released this year, and pay up lecturers’ accumulated four months arrears, before they will call off the strike.
In the words of the ASUU Chairman, “The school can go ahead and ask students to resume but we won’t do any work; we won’t teach them. It is not our responsibility to resume until ASUU decides. We’re not afraid of that (sack). He (Education minister) can go to the motor park to recruit lecturers that will lecture the students. You can now see the insincerity of some people in government. We told the government when we met that we’re ready to suspend the strike once we’re able to clarify some issues in our agreements with them. But they went ahead without clarifying those issues at stake. We dare them to sack us,” Dr. Clement said.
When our correspondent contacted the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Duro Oni to get his view on the matter and the current position of the University on the matter, he declined comments saying that the Vice-Chancellor should be contacted.
“I am also part of the management, but I don’t have anything to say concerning this, I think you should call the office of the Vice-Chancellor, he is the one who will speak to you about this.”
All attempts to reach the Vice-Chancellor proved abortive. Equally, calls to the ASUU Chairman, Unilag Chapter did not go through.
However, when we reached the Dean of Students Affairs of University of Lagos, Prof. Amund O, he first said that he was not aware of any media report that the Federal Governement has ordered Universities to reopen. He later said that it was not a directive from the Federal Governement that Universities should reopen but that it was from Committee of Pro-Chancellors, and that it was read at the University Senate today.
“Which media reported it? Because I am not aware of any such media report, I have The Punch here, I have Guardian, and I can’t find it here.”
“It was not the Federal Government that gave that directive, it was an Advice from the Committee of Pro-Chancellors and it was read in the Senate today. They said that Universities should reopen for academics and we are still waiting for the final decision on that. University of Lagos lecturers are still on strike.” He said after our correspondent told him the source of the information.
Meanwhile, ASUU is yet to officially brief the Federal Government on the outcome of its previous meeting last week in Kano.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on 1st of July embarked on an indefinite strike in protest against the non-implementation of their 2009 agreement with the Federal Government. The strike which has lasted almost five months now nearly saw its end before another tragic occurrence hit ASUU.
There were indications that the ongoing impasse with the Federal Government would end as ASUU had started considering the offer made by the Federal Government in relation to their demand. However, while the principal officers of the body were en route to the venue of their meeting where the final decision would be taking, some of them were involved in a ghastly auto crash, which claimed the life of a former National President of ASUU, Prof. Iyayi leaving some others seriously injured.
ASUU reacted to this tragic occurrence with the announcement of an indefinite suspension of the NEC meeting which would ultimately decide on calling off the strike.
ASUU last week Friday in a close door meeting in Kano considered the FG offer and the vote of the its members and came up with another resolution that the Federal Governmernt should begin immediate implementation of agreement by releasing the N100billion in addition to the released N30billion meant for this year under the amended agreement, and also pay the striking lecturers its four months arrears.
The Federal Government’s reacted to this media report by accusing ASUU of making an outrageous demand.
Article by Williams Igwe
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