The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) maintains that it will not back down on the current industrial action, accusing the Federal Government of not keeping to its promises.
President of the union, Emmanuel Osodeke said this on Monday, more than two weeks after ASUU declared a one-month warning strike over the Federal Government’s inability to honour its agreement with the body.
“For the past nine years or so, they have been giving us promises but once the strike is over, they relapse,” he said ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
“So, our colleagues are tired of these promises which they don’t fulfill. What we want is actions,” the ASUU leader told Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.
According to him, members of the union have sacrificed for the country’s educational system, noting that many schools have not missed any academic year in spite of the strike actions by ASUU.
Osodeke explained that many lecturers have not gone on leave for years as they try to meet up with the calendar, debunking claims that varsity teachers are paid for doing nothing.
“Anybody who says ASUU is paid after strike, he is telling a lie. We are paid for the work done,” he said, maintaining that if the Federal Government had followed their own part of the deal, ASUU would not have gone on strike.
Despite complaints from Nigerian students that they are the ones who bear the brunt of the incessant strikes by the union, the ASUU president told them to hold the government responsible. He said unlike, in the past, the government has not properly funded education.
While admitting that the students have the right to protest what they believe is wrong, Osodeke said ASUU is not moved by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) planned protest.
“If the students are well-taken care of, they will not be talking about house rents because they will be staying in hostels. But today government has abandoned hostels. That is it. That is what the students should fight for. If all the students are staying in hostels, nobody would ask them to pay extra rent,” he said, calling on the government to do the needful.