The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday said the Union wrote the House of Representatives and Senate in September and October 2021 but got no fruitful intervention before proceeding on strike, saying they are in court because federal government took them to court, contrary to insinuation by ministers.
Professor Ayoola Akinwole, Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of the Union stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan adding that the National Assembly also reneged on their promise to the Union before the Union suspended strike in 2020.
Part of what the National Assembly promised was to ensure that the 2021 budget accommodates the demands of ASUU but they failed to do this.
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According to Professor Akinwole, being invited by the Speaker House of Representatives is not new stating that even the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila did not fulfill his promise to add the demands of the Union into 2021 budget.
The ASUU Boss stated that the people speaking for government are only feeding Nigerians with lies adding that the Union is in court owing to the case the federal government instituted against it.
Akinwole who stated that Nigerians should make government responsible said that those in government are not monsters who cannot be challenged.
Against the statement that 2009 agreements have been renegotiated with previous administration as claimed by Dr Chris Ngige, Professor Akinwole stated that it was total falsehood adding that the Union was on the verge of concluding the renegotiation before government jettisoned collective bargaining which forced the Union to proceed on indefinite strike.
The Union leader disclosed that but for ASUU struggles, the leadership of Nigeria would have had easy ride of taking education out of the reach of children of common man in order for them to become slaves to the children of rulling class
While calling on Nigerians to reject the plan of making children of the poor to serve the children of the rich, Akinwole said Nigerians should stand up and make government fund public universities, stop proliferation of Universities without funding existing ones, release white paper of visitation panel and pay lecturers wages commensurate with Africa’s top rated universities and release revitalisation funds to universities.
The ASUU chairman lamented that the federal government and some of her Ministers are not dealing with the Union with open minds but deceit adding that the Union cannot be taken for a ride again.
He said Government should fund universities to stop capital flight, and sign new agreements that can retain the best brains in Nigeria.
“We wrote the Speaker House of Representatives in September 2021 who is now inviting ASUU to meeting again as if he lived up to the promise he made to us while pleading with us to suspend strike in 2020. We also wrote the Senate through the Senate President in October of 2021. Nothing happened.
“They all abandoned us. We gave religious body opportunity. It yielded nothing. Most of government people are feeding Nigerians with lies. I have two of my children at home with me. ASUU President does not have children studying abroad. It’s all lies and a strategy to paint him in bad light.
“We were supposed to be reviewing our salaries every three years according to the 2009 agreements but here we are in 2022 still fight to earn something reasonable. When it comes to the masses they will say no money but they increase their own allowances and heaven did not fall.
“ASUU does not want Nigeria to be irrelevant in the area of education. Education is global and that is why we have to give our children global standard education and funding has a major role to play and we need to attract international scholars if we have competitive conditions of service. No one will come to Nigeria and teach with poverty wage and bad working conditions”.