ASUU Denies Making Any Fresh Demands to FG

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has denied making any fresh demands from the Federal Government before calling off its five-month strike, explaining that it is only seeking a written guarantee from President Goodluck Jonathan on their renegotiated agreement of November 4.

ASUU National Treasurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, made this clarification while speaking with newsmen yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

“We are not making fresh demands, in fact the NEC of the union would have suspended the strike, but the concerns of our congresses were that many of the things agreed to with Mr. President during the November 4th meeting with him were not included in the letter signed by a Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mark John Nwobiala,” Aremu said.

He assured that the strike could end within 24 hours once the observed omissions were corrected and reflected in the new resolution.

ASUU described the statement credited to Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, that the union was making new outrageous demands as “untrue and absolute lie.”

Aremu said ASUU has requested President Jonathan to facilitate the endorsement of resolutions reached with him and signed by high ranking government official preferably the Attorney-General of the Federation but not a permanent secretary. He said a representative of the body including the President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Abdulwahid Omar, would stand as witnesses.

Aremu also disclosed that ASUU wants the N200 billion agreed upon as 2013 revitalisation fund for public universities to be warehoused with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and disbursed to the benefiting universities.

He accused Wike of being economical with the truth by not telling Nigerians that apart from the N30 billion earned allowances released for university staff, the government was yet to release the N100 billion claimed to have been released.

News Express reports that the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities had on Tuesday declared that there was no more basis for the ASUU strike and consequently ordered the immediate re-opening of all shut universities across the country since July 1.

The strike has started to weaken of late, with the Ebonyi State University (EBSU) yesterday joining a growing list of universities that had announced their resumption in defiance of ASUU’s directives.

At the Niger State-owned Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL), some academic staff have already resumed teaching while the Adamawa State University and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko in Ondo State have also reportedly pulled out of the strike, with Enugu State University (ESUT) at the verge of following suit.

At the same time, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Lagos State University (LASU) are reportedly set to conduct degree and matriculation examinations outside their campuses, even as UNILAG, LASU and the University of Jos (UNIJOS) have all scheduled to conduct the post-UTME examinations. The Abia State University (ABSU) had earlier conducted its post-UTME examinations.


Olusegun Fapohunda
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