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Buhari Government Has Implemented None Of Our Resolutions With House Speaker, Gbajabiamila — Nigerian University Lecturers, ASUU

November 28, 2022

This was stated in a speech delivered by the ASUU University of Ibadan Chairman, Ayoola Akinwole at a one-day rally organised by the union on Monday.

Nigerian university lecturers, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), have stated that none of their agreements with House of Representatives’ Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, which resulted in the suspension of their eight-month industrial action in October, has been implemented.
This was stated in a speech delivered by the ASUU University of Ibadan Chairman, Ayoola Akinwole at a one-day rally organised by the union on Monday.
Akinwole stated that the protest was held to show their displeasure over the manner in which the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was handling their demands.
He said, “Gentlemen of the Press, today, 28 November 2022, the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ibadan Zone, are protesting against the VICTIMISATION of ASUU members by the Federal Government and its agents. Recall that ASUU embarked on strike on 14 February 2022 to get the Government to implement the Memorandum of Action (MOA) signed with the Union on December 2020. This MOA included:
“1. The renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement. 2. Payment of outstanding Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and withheld salaries of 2020. 3. The release of the white paper by the visitation panel to the universities and inter-university centres, among other issues.
"Since 23 December 2020, these items of the MOA had not been honoured and implemented by the government, leading to the declaration of a strike action by ASUU on 14 February 2022.
"The government, rather than swinging into action to resolve the issues, embarked on playing politics with the lives of Nigerians and moved quickly to stop the payment of ASUU-members’ salaries for seven months, leading to starvation and death of some members of the Union.
"The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, intervened in the matter with a view to brokering peace between the Executive arm of the Government and ASUU. This intervention by the Speaker and the agreement emanating therefrom led to the suspension of the strike on 14 October 2022.
"However, despite reaching an agreement with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which led to the suspension of the strike, none of the items on the said agreement has been implemented. The agreement with the Speaker included following: 1. That the government is going to sign the new salary package.
“2. Payment of the withheld salaries from March to October 2022. 3. Payment of the withheld third-party deductions, including Check-off dues from March to October 2022. 4. Non-victimisation of ASUU members who took part in the strike. Today’s protest has become necessary due to our conviction that the Federal Government is on a mission to destroy the public universities through inadequate funding, and through its war against ASUU.
"This war against ASUU by the Government and the Nigerian elites has manifested in various ways such as: 1. Violation and repudiation of all extant agreements reached with Union 2. Forcing the union into strike 3. Prolonging the strike by its inaction and 4. Victimisation of ASUU members for embarking on strike, which they were forced into by the negligence and inaction by the government.
"In addition to the foregoing, ASUU members are being treated differently from members of other unions that also embarked on strike to press home their demands. For instance, the members of the Research Institutes embarked on twelve-month strike and their salaries were payed throughout the period they were on strike. On the contrary, the salaries of ASUU members were stopped a month into the strike and members were expected to starve to death. This is evidence of double standard, inconsistency and selective treatment meted out to ASUU members by the Government.
"Similarly, Government has surreptitiously appropriated funds belonging to ASUU and its members. For instance, the government deducted check-off dues for the months of March, September and October 2022 without remitting same to the Union. This was also the case in 2020 when about three months’ ASUU check-off dues were deducted by the Government without remitting to the Union. The only explanation for this is that the government is hell-bent on destroying ASUU in order to have the freedom to destroy the public universities.
"As a Union of intellectuals, it is our historical responsibility to protect the public universities from collapse and fight for the interest of our members as well as the interests of the Nigerians students. All these considerations necessitate today’s protest."