ASUU strike: Lecturers vow to continue strike, rebuffs govt’s ‘no work, no pay’ rule

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said there is no going back on the already four-month-old strike except the federal government fully implements the agreement it reached with the union in 2009.

In a peaceful protest held Monday by Nsukka Zone of the union, comprising all Federal and state universities in the South-East states at the Freedom Square, Awka, the union said the lecturers were ready to bear the brunt of the strike.

ASUU said though for two months now, the federal government had not paid lecturers as a result of the implementation of no-work-no-pay rule, it is the only sacrifice it could make to bring the country’s education on track again.

The union said if it were for their own interest, they would return to work to earn their salaries.

Addressing the protesting workers, the coordinator of the Nsukka Zone, Comrade Dr Chidi Osuagwu said, “We have had enough patience since 2009 when the ASUU/FG agreement was reached. We are not talking of renegotiation any longer, we are talking of implementation”.

He urged members of the union to march on with the strike and not be deterred as it survived the onslaught of the military government led by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1992, and would surely survive this with the encouragement of the poor masses whom the government seek to cut off from education.

On his part, the chairman of ASUU in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Comrade Prof Ike Odimegwu said, “Nigeria as a country has never had a shortfall in revenue since the 1980s, but the government keeps insisting that it has no money. We are aware that there is more than enough money.

“We want to tell Nigerians that if the ASUU strike fails, there will be negative consequences for the Nigerian education sector. An average Nigerian will pay N200,000 as tuition in a federal university, and over 80 percent of parents will not be able to train their children in University.

“We are, therefore, calling on Nigerians to joins us and question the Nigerian government, and call them to place priorities right. Trillions have been allocated to build a centenary village, but here we can not meet the UNESCO approved 26 percent budget for education. We must tell the government that 8.2 percent budget for education is not enough”.

Men of the Federal Road Safety Commission, the Police and Road Traffic agency in Anambra were on hand to provide security and direct vehicles peacefully in the course of the protest, while the angry lecturers marched with placards.

Some of the placards carried by the protesters read “Nigeria: right country, poor education, fund education, fund development, ASUU for quality education, no politics in education, FG save universities among others”.

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