There are strong indications that members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may have declared an indefinite strike following the federal government’s…
Mouthpiece NGR learnt that the lecturers made the resolution during their National Executive Council meeting, which began at about 12:15am on Monday and lasted for hours at their National Secretariat at the University of Abuja.
The communiqué of the meeting, which will give details of the decisions taken had not been released yet, but credible sources said the majority of the ASUU chapters across universities keyed into the decision to go on indefinite strike.
It was also learnt that beyond the indefinite strike, some lecturers had advised that the union should boycott further talks with the federal government until when another government is formed after the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2023. ASUU had declared the commencement of a strike on Monday, February 14, 2022, and has been lingering for over six months.
When our correspondent visited UniAbuja, on Sunday, an ASUU member said the meeting was not for coverage by the media.However, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union, who spoke to Daily Trust in confidence because he was not authorised to speak, said with the declaration of indefinite strike, “There would be no more negotiations with the federal government.”
When asked to explain what he meant by that, the NEC member declined further comments.He had earlier told our correspondent that there was a shouting match among ASUU members at the beginning of the meeting over some issues, including a comment credited to the ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke when he appeared on Arise Television where he reportedly called state universities “quacks”.
The official explained, ‘’Some people faulted him for saying that, while others backed him. The two camps shouted at each other but we later resolved everything. Let me tell you, no more negotiations until when our demands are met.”
‘Some members want negotiation stopped until Buhari leaves office’A source close to the ASUU leadership at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria said that even though there was no resolution yet at the top level, some members of the union were of the opinion to stop negotiation with the federal government until when President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in May 2023.
“I can assure you that this view is gathering momentum in many universities,” the lecturer said.“Many lecturers believe that there is no need to keep dissipating energy talking to government officials because they are not ready to listen.
“I know that many lecturers here in ABU and others at BUK, Federal University, Dutse and in the South are of the opinion that ASUU should also foreclose talking to the government until after this government leaves.
“It is not that we don’t have empathy. We are all affected. I am also affected because I have children in the public university and they have been at home for over six months. I have also not been receiving my salary but the fact is that the government should do the right thing to save the universities from collapsing,” he said.
Another NEC member also said that ASUU members would ensure they mobilise against current public office holders during the 2023 general elections.When contacted, the ASUU president told our correspondent yesterday that an official statement would be issued after the meeting but the statement had not been issued as at the time of filing this report.
t would be recalled that after one month following the February 14 strike, ASUU extended the strike by two months on March 15. When the 8 weeks rollover strike ended, the union added another 3 months.
ASUU President, Prof. Osodeke had explained that the action to roll over the strike became inevitable, given that the federal government’s “Failure to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA).”