The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has opened up on why it decided to embark on an indefinite strike.
ASUU said it decided to extend its ongoing strike indefinitely after a series of heated discussions during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Monday morning.
Members of NEC decided not to call off the six-month-old strike that entered the 197th day after most ASUU chapters voted that the strike should continue.
In a statement on Monday, ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, said the ongoing strike has turned into an indefinite strike after the federal government failed to meet all its demands.
The ASUU President asserted that the indefinite strike begins at 12:01am on Tuesday, stressing that the purpose of its strike action is to save public universities from dying.
He said the union empathizes with the students, their parents, as well as other stakeholders over the comprehensive, total and indefinite strike.
Osodeke added that ASUU reaffirms its belief in the sanctity of a stable academic system.
The statement reads: “ASUU NEC noted with pains, its concerns for Nigerian students who are also our wards and foster children and condemned Government’s seeming indifference to their plights. The Union empathizes with the students, their parents, as well as other stakeholders (including our colleagues who are undertaking their higher degrees) in the universities. ASUU reaffirms its belief in the sanctity of a stable academic system.
“Were it within our control, our universities would never have been shut for one day! However, ASUU was forced into taking this painful decision to prevent members of the Nigerian children from the ruling class and their foreign collaborators from further destroying whatever is left of our public universities. We are all victims.
“We need the understanding, solidarity and sacrifices of all to ensure that every qualified Nigerian youth who cannot afford the cost of private university education or foreign studies has unhindered access to quality university education. ASUU strikes are aimed at saving public education, and ensuring that Governments (Federal and State) use our common patrimony to support quality public university education. This is our collective obligation.
“In view of the foregoing, and following extensive deliberations on the government’s response to the resolution of 14th February 2022 so far, NEC concluded that the demands of the union had not been satisfactorily addressed.
“Consequently, NEC resolved to transmute the roll-over strike to a comprehensive, total and indefinite strike action beginning from 12.01a.m. on Monday, 29th August 2022.”
Recall that ASUU began its strike on February 14th, and declared a one-month warning strike to protest the non-implementation of its demands by the federal government.
Some of the union’s demands include payment of earned allowances and salaries for lecturers, improved funding and maintenance for tertiary institutions.
Other demands are the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability system (UTAS) for salary payment instead of the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), and the renegotiation of the ASUU FG 2009 agreement, among others.
The union extended the strike by eight weeks on March 14, citing the government’s failure to fully address its demands.
It thereafter extended the strike by another 12 weeks on May 9. The union again extended the strike on August 1 by another four weeks “to give government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues”.