ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, said universities lecturers had rejected the Federal Government offer of money to end the nine wee
ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, said universities lecturers had rejected the Federal Government offer of money to end the nine week old strike because it was far from their demands. Ogunyemi said that after due consultations with its executives across the country, they have resolved to continue the ongoing strike until the Federal Governments pays at least N220 billion out of N1.1 trillion it owed the public universities.
According to him, the union leadership during their last meeting warned government representatives that ASUU members were not likely to accept those figures, adding that they insisted we should go and inform them first.
“We agreed to go back to our members in order to show to them that we are a difficult union. We will communicate our position to the Federal Government this week, if our demands are met, we will call off the strike. We have shifted ground from N1.1 trillion, our previous demands to N220 billion that will cover for three quarters in 2019.
“If we made request for five tranches of N1.1 trillion and they are not ready to give one, that shows they are the ones not ready to shift grounds. For the earned allowances of the teachers, we have shifted grounds. What we were asking for was the payment for the balance, based on the forensic audit reports of government. Now they are proposing to pay in four installments. What they agreed to pay initially was a token and our members are saying they have gone beyond a tokenism.”
On the impact of the strike on February elections, Ogunyemi said: “ASUU strike has nothing to do with the February elections. We have being on these issues since 2016, it’s not something new. We have always drawn a line between ASUU struggle and elections. If they know they are banking on students to use for election, then let them do what they ought to do. We have been serving our notice since 2016. In 2017, when we came back, we gave ourselves six months and nothing happened. For somebody to turn round now to say that we targeted their election, no.
For some public universities who are at the verge of boycotting ASUU strike, Ogunyemi said: “We know that there are some moves by government agents at federal and state levels to break our ranks. But our members are getting back to us and to a large extent now, our members are resolute. Yes, there are some overzealous chancellors and administrators in one or two universities who are trying to brake these ranks. However, on the scale of balance, they are not having their way. On the way of handling the default institutions, he said, “Our union shall handle that.”