ASUU Strike: Exercise paralyses activities at Ekiti varsities
• Union chair accuses FG, N’Assembly of insensitivity
• APC chieftain urges amicable resolution
The ongoing industrial action declared by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the non-implementation of the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government yesterday grounded academic activities at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) and Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE).
The development saw a number of students travelling home while those who stayed back were holed up in their hostels.
Expectedly, the striking lecturers justified their action, which they stressed, was long overdue. But the students and parents, on the other hand, expressed sadness at the event, saying it would unnecessarily extend the academic calendar.
Speaking, the EKSU chapter chairman of ASUU, Prof. Olufayo Olu-Olu, submitted there was nothing wrong with the timing, reminding all that the teachers had endured enough. He regretted that the union had futilely engaged government for quite a while with a view to resolving the lingering issues.
The ASUU chair flayed government for its lackadaisical attitude to a pact it expressly struck with the university teachers, just as he claimed that retiring and retired members had been denied access by their Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to the N1 billion allegedly remitted as counterpart contributions under the agreement reached between the two parties in 2009.
His words: “You (government) have an agreement with a body since 2009 for God’s sake. It is a long time because this is 2017 and that makes it eight good years. We kept on reminding them and within these eight years, they have been changing governments and you are hearing how they have been embezzling money and spending huge amount on elections every four years.
He accused the government, Senate, House of Representatives and state houses of assembly of insensitivity, pointing out their negative disposition to sacrifices in the face of the prevailing economic turmoil.
He continued: “Those in the executive and legislative arms of government are earning huge sums of money despite the recession in our country and the same government has refused to implement our agreement.”
“For our members, the future is very important and by the time you are already old and you want to disengage from the system, they will ask you to leave. Look at what is happening to retired school teachers in town with some of them collapsing on the queue waiting for their pension.”
Olu-Olu further said: “ASUU national secretariat directed us to register with the PFA and we sent money
to them and they are holding on to our money. We asked them to give us our pension and they refuse to give it to our members.”
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Kolawole Alabi, said the strike was already telling on parents and students who were now being forced to stay at home.
He urged the striking lecturers to return to the classroom while negotiation commences immediately to find an amicable solution to the crisis.
No comments yet