ASUU extends strike for 12 weeks as NANS threatens to disrupt primary elections and block National Assembly

• Threats to block airports and roads throughout the country

• FG begins review of Briggs report on FG-ASUU Renegotiation Committee

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) has again decided to continue its ongoing nationwide strike for another 12 weeks as the National Association of Nigerian Students threatens to disrupt political party primary elections and block the National Assembly . He also threatened to block airports and roads across the country if the FG/ASUU faces that the university education crippled over the past three months is not resolved soon.

This is exactly when the federal government described the extension of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike for 12 weeks as a violation of labor laws, revealing that it was reviewing the report submitted by the committee on the 2009 FG renegotiation -ASUU Agreement.

Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, reacting to ASUU’s decision to extend its nationwide strike for another 12 weeks, said the union had broken the country’s labor laws.

In a statement issued after its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, a copy of which was obtained yesterday, the university’s professors said: “After lengthy deliberations, noting the inability of the federal government to assume its responsibilities and promptly resolve the issues raised in the FG-ASUU 2020 Action Protocol, during the additional eight-week strike period declared on March 14, 2022, the NEC has decided that the strike will continue for 12 weeks to give the government more time to satisfactorily resolve all outstanding issues. .”

The statement signed by ASUU President Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke added, “The rolling strike takes effect from 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 9, 2022.”

The union condemned what it said was the government’s cavalier attitude towards the teachers’ strike.

He also accused the three-man reconciliation team set up to resolve the dispute of not doing their job, adding that no meeting had taken place since then.

The ASUU said its members were shocked that while public universities were closed and the children of poor citizens were idle at home, the political class was busy buying expression of interest forms with million naira.

They also alleged that those in power had abandoned the country’s ill-equipped institutions to race between Europe and America to celebrate their children’s graduation ceremonies.

“This speaks to the level of depravity, callousness and irresponsibility of Nigeria’s opportunistic and parasitic political class

ASUU further accused the government of using starvation as a weapon to force professors to give up their fight for better funding and pay for university staff, adding that such a strategy was doomed to failure and could not stop the determination of university professors.

In the statement, the union denounced the planned overseas trip of the Vice-Chancellors’ Spouses Committee, describing it as despicable and provocative at a time when speakers were at home.

The ASUU said that unless something is urgently done to properly redirect the renegotiation committee headed by Professor Limit Briggs, to resolve the issues in dispute, the exercise could end in a chase. the wild goose.

The ASUU has been on strike since Feb. 14, and several reconciliation meetings between the federal government and the striking speakers have come up against brick walls.

ASUU Strike: NANS to Disrupt Political Party Primary Elections and Block National Assembly

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to disrupt the political party primary elections to express its anger at the 12-week extension of the national strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

NANS described the extension of ASUU’s national strike for more than two months as a declaration of war against students and pointed out that the extension signaled that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was extremely insensitive to the plight of students.

NANS National Chairman Sunday Asefon revealed this in a statement on Monday.

He revealed that the NANS would begin a “test operation” across the country from May 10, which will serve as a precursor to the total blockade of major roads in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“Having exhausted all windows of constructive engagement with the government. Therefore, on behalf of the National Leadership of NANS, I declare National Action starting tomorrow May 10th. The national action is labeled ‘Operation Test Run’. ‘Operation Test Run’ will take place in all 36 states of the Federation. Federal highways across all 36 states must be busy for at least three hours a day,” the NANS chairman revealed. “The operation will be a precursor to a total shutdown which will be decided during our senatorial/pre-convention meeting on Saturday, May 14, 2022.”

The national student body has also threatened to block airport roads across the country and “totally disrupt political party primaries”, including the blockade of the National Assembly “until they commit to pass legislation prohibiting public office holders from sending their children to a university abroad”.

“I therefore call on the NLC, TUC and civil society organizations to join us in trashing the remaining cracks of our public tertiary education in Nigeria,” Asefon said.

FG begins review of Briggs report on FG-ASUU Renegotiation Committee

Ngige explained that the Ministry of Education had written to him to submit the interim report of the renegotiation committee headed by Professor Mimi Briggs. He also mentioned that the government was working on the interim report, insisting that the demands of the professors were taken into account, as discussions were ongoing.

According to the Minister of Labour, speakers have a duty to respect the principle of allowing the dispute to be settled in a peaceful atmosphere and not by force of a strike.

“The Ministry of Labor and Employment is not the direct employer of university teachers. The process is that whenever ASUU has a problem with the Federal Department of Education, which is its direct employer, the department should try to resolve it using its internal dispute resolution mechanisms,” he said. he noted. “So when there is a breakdown in negotiations, and I apprehend the conflict on my table, and the workers refuse to return to their work while the discussions are in progress, it is a violation of labor law. We had apprehended the ASUU strike, we did so on February 22, and we continued conciliation on March 1.

According to him, some of the demands of non-academic staff and other categories of academic workers overlap with those of ASUU and need to be addressed holistically.

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