Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) has vowed to sustain its nine-day old strike despite the federal government offer to release N20 billion as part payment for the union demands for improved funding of public universities in the country.
The union said the yet-to-be released ‘paltry’ sum is neither capable of solving the myriad of challenges facing the country’s public tertiary institutions nor enough to settle their demands in terms of remuneration and others.
National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, while reacting to the claims of the federal government over the ongoing strike in an interview, said universities in Nigeria have been subjected to 20 years of continued re-colonisation under ‘alleged’ democracy, with claims that this has further retrogressed the economy in all spheres.
He buttressed the necessity of the strike and questioned the offer of N20 billion revitalisation fund despite the fact that the same government released N1.3 trillion to a distressed bank recently.
Ogunyemi lamented that the ruling class has continued to regroup themselves in their various factions “which they sadly call political parties.”
He further reiterated that the strike is total, comprehensive and indefinite as members have withdrawn their services until government fully implements all outstanding issues as contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of 2017 and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.
According to him, “This strike is total, comprehensive and indefinite. Our members shall withdraw their services until government fully implement all outstanding issues as contained in the MoU of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.
“We have been subjected to 20 years of continued re-colonisation under alleged democracy in which all that the ruling circle have been doing is to regroup among themselves in their various faction they call political parties.”
Ogunyemi also argued that the government was not interested in public universities as the children of the top politicians and rich men in the society patronise private universities to the detriment of public institutions.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had in the wake of the ASUU strike, expressed his regrets over the industrial action, saying he shared in the lecturers pains.
According to him, “I must say that it is difficult to reconcile with all the efforts and positive achievements we have been able to make.”