We can’t wait to resume – Nigerian students jubilate as ASUU branches vote to suspend eight-month-old strike

Nigerian students have expressed eagerness to resume as the various branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) voted overwhelmingly to suspend the ongoing eight-month-old strike.

Recall, ASUU shut down public universities in the country on February 14, 2022, to demand full implementation of agreements it had entered into with the Federal Government a few years ago.

 

The government had agreed to inject a total of N1.3 trillion into public universities, both state and federal, in six tranches, starting in 2013 after the union decried the deplorable state of the institutions.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu Adamu, had on August 22, 2022, claimed that the government had resolved most of the demands of ASUU. Among the demands addressed, according to the Minister, was the release of N50 billion for the payment of earned allowances for universities’ academic and non-academic and non-academic staff.

The strike, however, lingered until the Federal Government dragged the union to the National Industrial Court, asking the court to order the lecturer back to class. The National Industrial Court and the Court of Appeal had recently ruled that the lecturers must return to the classroom as negotiations continue.

 

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker House of Reps then waded into the crisis recently due to the plight of Nigerian students, and on Monday during a briefing, he said that the 8-month-old strike would end “in matter of days.”

 

Following that, ASUU branches summoned congresses based on the directive of the national body on Wednesday, and members resolved to ask the National Executive Council (NEC) to suspend the industrial action.

The decisions of the various congresses of ASUU will be tabled and discussed at an emergency NEC meeting scheduled for Thursday in Abuja.

Reacting to the development, a 200-Level student of Social Studies Education at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Idowu Olamilekan Emmanuel, said: “ASUU is an association of learned and enlightened people whom the society relies on to eradicate ignorance and illiteracy via their services. Meanwhile, the same group of people should not disobey the law as they teach the supremacy of the law.

 

“Although they might have their agitation or struggles, it is good they are ready to shift ground and resume classes,” he said.

 

On his journey as a student affected by the strike, Emmanuel said: “The strike has done more harm than good and I am tired. Hopefully, with the outcome of the meeting, indeed it hoped they would resume in a matter of days. Despite claiming their rights from the government, they should always put students in mind.”

 

Azegba Chisom Emmanuella, a 400-Level student of Economics at Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ogun State, said the resumption was long overdue.

 

“ASUU should have resumed operations because the government appeared unwilling to meet their demands.

 

“Our lecturers waited for over six months and nothing was done. These teachers have families to support and their students’ education has suffered as a result. Now that there is a favourable outcome from their meeting with the Speaker, we are ready to resume.”

 

Nwobi Chidubem Valentine, a 400-Level student of Medical Laboratory Science at University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said ASUU should retreat and restrategise, adding that students were ready to resume.

 

He said he was tired of the strike because he doesn’t want to spend 16 years in school studying a five-year course all because of strike, whereas he has a career to build outside school.

 

For Benedict Omoodion Ebhodaghe, a 200-Level student of Electrical/ Electronic Engineering at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), he is glad ASUU might call off the strike following the intervention of Gbajabiamila.

 

A 200-Level student of Guidance and Counselling at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Opeyemi Samuel, said: “We are expectant of resumption. ASUU should resume and continue negotiations.The union is fighting for its rights seemingly at the wrong time.

 

“With both court rulings, there is nothing ASUU can do again except to resume and go ahead with further roundtable discussion on their demands.”

 

He noted that the strike had forced him to be a business man. He complained of time wasting, since he has many things to do after his education.

 

Oluwasegun Godswill, a 200-Level student of Law at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), said the only viable next course of action for ASUU was to obey the court’s order and return to class.

She said: “It is known that they cannot proceed to take this case legally any further for a few reasons. The Appeal Court has not thrown the case out but has only asked that lecturers to return to classes before the case is looked at which implies that the verdict of the Appeal Court might still favour ASUU in the long run based on their obedience to the condition placed by the court.

 

“If the Appeal Court ruled in favour of the government, ASUU would not take the matter any further to the Supreme Court, which would have been the last resort to appeal their case. But with the latest development, we are happy and eager to resume with out further waste of time.”

 

Amadin Hope, a 200-Level student of Social Studies Education at OOU, said: “As students we’re tired of the ongoing strike because our lives, future, and career are at stake. Wanting to study and studying for prolonged years is disheartening and discouraging and it ‘ll lead us nowhere. Anyway, we are ready and hopeful of going back to our campuses since ‘there is light at the end of tunnel’ according to ASUU President Osodeke.”

 

A 200-Level student of Accounting at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Itunuoluwa Blessing Adejumo, advised ASUU to resume soon after talks with Speaker Gbajabiamila.

 

She noted that students were delighted with the outcome of the meeting.

 

“Moreover, they are not the only ones affected. We students that are paying school fees and not defaulting are mostly affected,”she said. Source

Author: Newstopz400

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