There has been partial compliance by universities across the country with the nationwide strike called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities on
There has been partial compliance by universities across the country with the nationwide strike called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Sunday. The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, had on Sunday announced the union’s decision to go on an indefinite strike. Ogunyemi said the union was embarking on strike following the failure of the Federal Government to implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with ASUU. Despite the strike, however, academic activities continued on Monday at the Taraba State University, Jalingo.
Checks revealed that lecturers in some universities were busy with classes and other academic activities. But when contacted on the telephone, the Chairman of ASUU, Taraba State University chapter, Dr Samuel Shiikaa, explained that he was on his way to Jalingo after attending ASUU’s meeting in Akure, Ondo State where the national ASUU took the decision to go on strike. Shiikaa said Taraba State University would join the strike.
“We will hold our local congress hopefully tomorrow (Tuesday) to declare the strike; it’s a collective decision and we all are going to abide by it.”
At the Umaru Musa Yaradua University, Katsina State, ASUU members could not join the nationwide strike on Monday, because they were awaiting the arrival of their leaders who attended the Akure meeting. Thus academic activities were not hampered, despite the strike by ASUU. A member of the union, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that, “It is our leaders who went for the Akure meeting who will properly call another congress here where a referendum would be taken by members on whether to join the strike or not. As of now, we are still awaiting the arrival of our leaders who went to Akure and we wish them safe arrival. Until they are around, there is nothing we can do.’’
At the Federal University of Akure and the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa the strike had no effects as the institutions were not in session. At the Federal University, Dutsinma, and the Al Qalam University, both in Katsina, the lecturers said they don’t belong to ASUU. At the University of Lagos, Akoka the strike did not take full effect on Monday. Even though most students of UNILAG had gone on holidays, students in the College of Medicine, particularly those in Medicine and Surgery, who had clinical and pre-clinical classes, were in school.
The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, had said on Monday that ASUU strike was not a solidarity strike with the strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress, stressing that even if the NLC called off its strike, ASUU would go on. Ogunyemi said, “ASUU has only resumed its strike action; it is not a fresh strike. It is the continuation of an action we suspended in September 2017, which means our action predated that of the NLC. We were forced to go back to it because it appears that the government is just dribbling us. Weeks and months are rolling by and we don’t think ASUU is an organisation you can just toy with, because this is about the future of Nigeria and Nigerian children. So, we were forced to resume our strike action. It is not a solidarity strike. Our strike was there before the NLC issues came up.”