Students Don’t Want Us To End Strike – ASUU President

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities has
said it is continuing its nationwide strike on
the advice of university students.
In a telephone interview with SUNDAY
PUNCH, the President of the union, Dr.
Isa Fagge, said students were tired of
the incessant industrial actions by the university
lecturers due to the Federal Government’s failure to
implement the agreement it had with ASUU since
2009.
Fagge said the union had decided to heed the advice
of the students to continue the strike until the
Federal Government fully implemented the
agreement.
“Our students have come out to say they don’t want
us to call off the strike until the Federal Government
answers us, because they don’t want us to call off
now and later we go back to strike again. So, we are
heeding the advice of our students,” he said.
On the complaint by the Federal Government that it
lacked the funds to implement the agreement,
Fagge said it was not all about money, noting that
government did not need funds to start
implementing some parts of the agreement.
“There are issues and agreement they can
implement without money. Why don’t they begin
with those ones?” he asked.
He added that it was unfortunate that the
government had pulled out of dialogue with ASUU,
stating that the union would not be intimidated.
He said, “Now, government has pulled out of the
dialogue. We thought we were the ones going on
strike, but now government has also gone on
strike.”
Last Thursday, university students under the
auspices of the National Association of Nigerian
Students reportedly staged a peaceful protest in
Ado-Ekiti and flayed the Federal Government for
failing to honour the agreement it had with ASUU
since 2009.
The students, who were from public universities,
threatened to disrupt activities of private
universities, adding that the government was not
bothered about their plight because children of
government officials were studying either in private
universities or overseas.
The university lecturers began an indefinite strike
on July 1 and have been demanding full
implementation of the agreement ASUU had with
the Federal Government in 2009, which among other
things include the UNESCO-recommended 26 per
cent budgetary allocation for education. However,
the government said it could not implement the
agreement, and is seeking re-negotiation.
The Federal Government, last Wednesday, accused
ASUU of being unrealistic by continuing its
nationwide strike and asked it to rethink its
demands, considering other commitments
government has.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who
gave government’s position on the strike when he
briefed journalists at the end of the weekly meeting
of the Federal Executive Council, said apart from
security, education was one of the sectors the
government had expended a lot of money on.
From Naij.com

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