No going back on strike, ASUP tells FG
ASUU ready to resist Babalakin, says Sowande
Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has said that no ploy by the federal government will make it to suspend the indefinite strike that starts on December 12, except all their demands are met. The coordinator, Zone A, Kabir Yunusa, who spoke on behalf of the union’s national president, Usman Dutse, made this known in Kaduna at a press briefing to mark the commencement of the nationwide strike.
He said that polytechnic lecturers would join the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to begin an indefinite strike until the union’s demands are met.
According to Yunusa, government has failed to implement and fulfil agreements it reached with the union as contained in Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed earlier. Demands from the union before the government includes granting polytechnics’ needs assessment, payment of over 14 months salary arrears of some members, and reviewing the sack of some lecturers in various institutions for engaging in union activities, among others.
ASUP also warned against establishing more educational institutions for political gains, as the National Assembly moves to create 80 new federal universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.It maintained that the country does not need additional institutions, but quality education.
In the same vein, ASUU has vowed to resist the pro-chancellor and chairman of council, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr. Wale Babalakin, in his alleged plot to break its ranks.
The Lagos zone of ASUU had accused Babalakin of attempting to break the ranks of the union by fixing a meeting with the department heads and deans of various faculties UNILAG, contrary to the union’s position that forbids its members from engaging in any meeting or activity, both statutory and non-statutory.
It also accused Babalakin of running UNILAG as a personal estate, issuing orders without consultations and taking unilateral positions on issues concerning the administration of the institution.
ASUU, in a statement by its Lagos zonal chairman, Prof. Olusiji Sowande of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), expressed its readiness to resist the dictatorial tendencies of Babalakin.
“It is now becoming clear, very worrisome and agonising that the recent activities of the pro-chancellor and chairman of the UNILAG governing council, Dr. Wale Babalakin, manifests a total disregard not for only the extant tradition of the university but also for its statutes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the pro-chancellor’s activities since assumption of office are best described as autocratic, meddlesome and dictatorial.”When contacted, Babalakin, who is out of the country, simply said that the union should know better.