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After 168-day strike, ASUU issues four-week extension

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ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel OsodekeThe Academic Staff Union of Universities on Monday announced the extension of its ongoing strike by four weeks.

The union’s President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, disclosed this in a statement made available to The PUNCH.

According to Osodeke, the decision was to give the government enough time to resolve all outstanding issues with the lecturers.

The statement read, “Following extensive deliberations and taking cognisance of the government’s past failure to abide by its own timelines in addressing issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action, the NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for four weeks to give the government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.

“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01am on Monday, August 1, 2022,” the statement read.

ASUU on Monday, February 14, 2022, announced the commencement of a strike over the failure of the government to meet lingering demands of the union.

Speaking further in the statement, ASUU said, “NEC viewed with seriousness the recent directive given by the President and Visitor to all Federal Universities that the Minister of Education, in consultation with other government officials, should resolve the lingering crisis and report to him within two weeks.

“NEC acknowledged the growing understanding of the issues and the groundswell of support for the union’s principled demand for globally competitive university education in Nigeria. Nigerian universities must not be reduced to constituency projects that merely exist on paper, and our scholars must be incentivised to stay back and do what they know best, here in Nigeria.

“NEC appreciated the historic nationwide protest of July 26 and 27, 2022, organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress in collaboration with civil society organisations to further create awareness of the antics of the Nigerian ruling class to destroy public education. ASUU renews its commitment to the NLC’s struggles in championing the cause of Nigeria’s working and suffering people.

“NEC observed that the non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after it was concluded by the Professor Nimi Briggs-led committee is further testing the patience of ASUU members nationwide.”

When contacted on the matter, the spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, told The PUNCH he would not comment on it.

“I won’t comment on ASUU,” Goong said.

Efforts to get the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, also proved abortive as messages sent to his telephone number remained unanswered as of the time of filing this report.

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