THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the general public, especially students of the various universities in the country to show understanding with the lecturers who are currently on strike because the struggle is for their (the student’s) good.
Biodun Ogunyemi, National President of ASUU, said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
He expressed fear that the strike may not be called off any sooner as there has not been any concrete headway in the negotiation between ASUU and the federal government.
“We want to call on our students and parents to show understanding with our struggle as we are in this together,” Ogunyemi said.
“The whole essence of this struggle is to ensure that our students get worthy and deserving certificates that they will be proud of anywhere they may find themselves in the world.
“The struggle is to ensure too that we save Nigerian universities from going the way our public primary and secondary schools have gone.
“We do not want our universities to go the same way because a lot of our parents may not be able to afford the private university fees.”
“Unless Nigerians rise to the occasion and join ASUU in putting pressure on both the Federal and state governments to pay adequate attention to our universities, secondary and primary schools, we may be facing a total collapse of our educational sector.”
Ogunyemi said that the federal government last met with ASUU representatives on Monday, November 26, “but nothing tangible came out of the meeting”.
“Rather than come out with firm commitment on what to do about these demands, they were appealing to us to go back to the classrooms while they tackle the issues; and to us they have missed the point,” he said.
“We were told that the negotiation will continue on Friday, November 30 but up till now, as we speak, I have not received any notice of meeting to that effect.”
ASUU began this current round of strike action on November 5. The lecturers said they will not return to the classrooms except the government implemented the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the union in 2017.
According to Ogunyemi, the MoA if implemented will result in improved working conditions and welfare package for the lecturers and an upgrade in facilities across government-owned universities in the country. (NAN)