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We’re more patriotic than FG officials, ASUU claims

By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi
16 November 2022   |   3:50 am
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi State, has said that academics are more patriotic than Federal Government officials, who violated the outcome of negotiations and agreements with labour.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi State, has said that academics are more patriotic than Federal Government officials, who violated the outcome of negotiations and agreements with labour.

At a peaceful protest staged from ASUU Secretariat to the university gate, the union’s chairman, Dr. Ibrahim Ibrahim, said the protest was against the unfulfilled promises by the Federal Government in 2009 and the renegotiated issues.

The lecturers were seen holding placards with such inscriptions as ‘ASUU is more patriotic than FG officials’, ‘ASUU is not in support of proliferation of state universities’, ‘We say no to privatisation of public universities’, ‘Our demands are legitimate and patriotic’, ‘IPPIS and Pro rata payment to academics are diversion from our demands’ among others.

Ibrahim, who spoke on behalf of the angry teachers, said the union would not allow the government to cripple the public university system, where the children of the common man could get their constitutional right to education.

He said: “As a patriotic union, ASUU, for years, has been calling on the government at the state and federal levels to accord Nigerian public universities a befitting and conducive learning environment that will drive the nation’s wellbeing through inclusivity and global competitiveness.

“These were conspicuously captured in the FG/ASUU agreement of 2009. The union is not surprised that the Nigerian ruling class, saddled with the responsibility of managing the country and are supposed to be in the vanguard of partnering with the academia to actualise the nation’s inclusivity and global competitiveness, were the ones working against these feats.”

He noted that ASUU had deployed several diplomatic means to persuade the government to address the contentious issues in the public universities, but all fell on deaf ears.

“Thereafter, just like on other occasions, the union was left with no choice than to declare a nationwide strike on February 14, 2022 to drive home its demands,” he added.

According to him, 11 members are being owed salaries from one month to seven months, long before the eight-month industrial action that was suspended on October 14.

He, therefore, called on education stakeholders in the country to compel the government to honour its agreement.