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No more negotiation with FG, declares ASUU

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Following the failure of the Federal Government to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the striking lecturers on Monday declared an indefinite strike action after six months of industrial action across public universities.

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This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the ASUU National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the National Secretariat of the University of Abuja on Monday.

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Daily Independent gathered that beyond the indefinite strike, some lecturers had advised that the union should boycott further talks with the federal government until when another government is formed after the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2023.

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According to credible sources, privy to the development said, the majority of the ASUU Chapters across universities keyed into the decision to go on indefinite strike. 

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A member of the union National Executive Committee who spoke to Dailytrust under anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, said with the declaration of indefinite strike, “There would be no more negotiations with the federal government.”

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He also said there was a shouting match among ASUU members at the beginning of the meeting over some issues, including a comment credited to the ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke when he appeared on Arise Television where he reportedly called state universities “quacks”. 

The official explained, ‘’Some people faulted him for saying that, while others backed him. The two camps shouted at each other but we later resolved everything. Let me tell you, no more negotiations until when our demands are met.” 

Another source close to the ASUU leadership at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria said that even though there was no resolution yet at the top level, some members of the union were of the opinion to stop negotiation with the federal government until when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in May 2023. 

“I can assure you that this view is gathering momentum in many universities,” the lecturer said. 

“Many lecturers believe that there is no need to keep dissipating energy talking to government officials because they are not ready to listen. 

“I know that many lecturers here in ABU and others at BUK, Federal University, Dutse and in the South are of the opinion that ASUU should also foreclose talking to the government until after this government leaves. 

“It is not that we don’t have empathy. We are all affected. I am also affected because I have children in the public university and they have been at home for over six months. I have also not been receiving my salary but the fact is that the government should do the right thing to save the universities from collapsing,” he said. 

In a similiar vein, a NEC member also said that ASUU members would ensure they mobilise against current public office holders during the 2023 general elections. 

It could be recalled that ASUU had declared the commencement of one month strike on Monday, February 14, 2022, after one month following the February 14 strike, ASUU extended the strike by two months on March 15. When the 8 weeks rollover strike ended, the union added another 3 months.

ASUU President, Prof. Osodeke had explained that the action to roll over the strike became inevitable, given that the federal government’s “Failure to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA).”

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