Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
As the agitations to re-opening universities in the country heighten, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday vowed that the members of the union would not go back to work until all the demands that led to the March 23, 2020, nationwide strike are addressed by the federal government.
The Zonal Coordinator for the Ibadan zone of the union, comprising University of Ibadan, Univrsity of Ilorin, University of Osun, KWASU, and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Professor Ade Adejumo, disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, at a news conference.
According to him, “Our strike, which was predicated on government readiness to honour its MOA with us, continues, even if the universities are opened today. It is our responsibility to call the government attention to its duties to the country and its citizens, this we have done, and there is no going back.”
He added: “It is unfortunate that the government has refused to take it upon itself to use the period of the COVID-19 pandemic to address our demands.
“One would have thought that the government would use the opportunity of the lockdown to address the issues in contention with ASUU.
“Surprisingly, the government was carrying on as if the problems no longer exist, and as we speak, the government has not called ASUU for any discussion on the demands.
“We want to say that if the federal government announces the school resumption today, without attending to our demands, our union will not resume duties.”
Adejumo added that “Nigerians should note that IPPIS, though not part of our initial charter of demands, has been elevated to the status of the main issue by the government.
“Even at that, the union has met the government challenge for ASUU to develop an alternative platform that will take care of the peculiarities of the university system.
“To this end, we have developed and presented UTAS well ahead of the 18 months period that we promised while still addressing the problem of corruption as being touted by the government, and this platform which is more comprehensive and robust than IPPIS, was developed by our teams of experts completely using our resources.”