ASUU Strike: FG Constitutes 7-Man Committee to Renegotiate 2009 Agreement

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The federal government has reconstituted a 7-man team to renegotiate the 2009 agreement it had with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in its efforts to end the lingering strike of the Union.


Also See: FG Has No Funds to Meet ASUU's Demands

Asuu strike

But the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), has said the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, lacked the capacity to resolve the crisis and therefore urged him to resign.

In the same vein, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has also demanded Adamu’s resignation and to further tender unreserved apology to the nation for abusing and walking out on Nigerian students, who went to his office to plead for his intervention to end the on-going strike by lecturers in public universities in the country.

University lecturers had suspended academic activities nationwide on February 14, 2022, for what they referred to as government’s lackadaisical attitude and dishonest disposition over the agreement it signed with the union in 2009.

The industrial action, according to ASUU, allegedly followed the failure of the federal government to fully implement the Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) and the Memorandum of Action (MoA).

Some of the union’s grievances included the Non-deployment of University Transparency Accountability Solution ( UTAS), non- release of the white paper by the visitation panel, Earned Academic Allowances ( EAA) and non- payment of EAA to members of ASUU OAU.

There was also the alleged illegal appointment of Dr. Isah Ali Pantami, as a Professor of Cyber security by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), proliferation of state universities, victimisation of academics in state universities, and JAMB encroachment into university autonomy, among others.

However, reconstituting the team, Adamu said there was need to speedily bring to conclusion, all outstanding issues in the 2009 agreement in order to achieve industrial peace in the nation’s public tertiary institutions.

“There is need to speedily bring to conclusion, all outstanding issues in the 2009 agreement in order to achieve the desired industrial peace on our campuses,” he said.

To serve as chairman of the team that would be inaugurated on Monday, is the Pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Prof. Emeritus Nimi Briggs.

Other members are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Arc. Lawrence Patrick Ngbale, who represents North East; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth, representing South West and Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Senator Chris Adighije, representing South East.

Also on the team are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olu Obafemi from North-Central; Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science & Technology, Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu, representing North West; and Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Mathew Seiyefa from South-South.

In a statement by the Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Ben Goong, the ministry wanted all advisers and observers in the federal government/university-based unions 2009 agreements re-negotiation team to attend the inauguration.

But the northern students, has described the action of the minister during his meeting with the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) as a gross show of “unconscionable immorality, insensitivity and abhorrent to the collective sensibilities” of the students and their parents.

Speaking at a press conference in Katsina, Thursday, the National Coordinator of the students wing of the CNG, Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, accused the minister and the federal government of lacking the capacity and political will to end the prevailing industrial action.

He explained that failure of the government to resolve the ASUU strike within the stipulated time, forced the Students’ Wing of the CNG would join forces with the national association of Nigerian students in ensuring total shutdown of the country.

He directed all the national excos of the coalition, state and campus structures, faculty senators and departmental ambassadors to commence massive public mobilisation in readiness for “an impending national day of action.

“The Students wing, Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) is worried that the four-week warning strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is already in its third week, with no hope for a resolution in sight while our universities remain shut.

“We are concerned at the frequency of the disruption of the Nigerian education system that keeps frustrating the ambitions and aspirations of the youth to acquire knowledge.

“Sadly, this strike is the second industrial action embarked on by ASUU in less than two years, and the 16th since the inception of the fourth republic democracy in 1999. Regrettably, in spite of all these disruptive actions, the nation’s university system, the innocent students and their parents are in all cases made the victims.

“The government, in particular the Minister of Education, lacks the political will, capacity and willingness to bring the matter to an end, as such, he should resign with immediate effect,” he said.

Also, the PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, held that by arrogantly insulting and refusing to attend to the member of NANS, Adamu recklessly abdicated his duties and exhibited an unpardonable discourteousness unfitting of a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, let alone a minister of education.

“Our Party insists that Adamu Adamu’s action is an assault and embarrassment to the nation’s education sector. It amounts to spitting in the face of the generality of the Nigerian youths as well as their parents; a conduct that is characteristic of the impunity, insensitivity and arrogant disdain for Nigerians, which have permeated the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

“That is why the APC government has always walked away from Nigerians in the face of critical situations that have to do with the security and welfare of the people. Of course, the APC as a party is in approval of the conduct of Adamu Adamu, because such is in line with APC’s detestation and disparagement of Nigerians, especially, the youths.

“Adamu Adamu’s action is reminiscent of the October 2020 brutal killing of Nigerian youths by APC-controlled security agents at the Lekki Toll gate in Lagos for exercising their rights to peaceful protest against injustice and brutality in our country. But for the maturity displayed by the students, Adamu Adamu’s attitude was capable of causing a breakdown of Law and Order at the venue of the meeting.

“The right to education is a basic right, which must not be denied our youths. It is, therefore, reprehensible that the minister of education, who ought to defend such right could conduct himself in such an undignified manner towards the youths,” Ologunagba.

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