ASUU Strike 2013: Classes Resume at At Least 5 Universities

December 3, 2013 Updated: December 4, 2013

The ASUU strike in 2013 continues, but the latest update is that classes have resumed at at least five universities in Nigeria.

Students at the following universities had either started classes on Monday or were planning to attend classes on Tuesday, per directives from school officials:

-Enugu State University of Science and Technology 
-Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State
-University of Jos
-University of Benin (December 7 start date)
-Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko

At the University of Jos, lecturers have been directed by registrar Jilli Dandam to return to work immediately, reported the Leadership.

“The Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council on behalf of the Governing Council has directed that all academic staff of the University of Jos should return to their various departments, units and commence work immediately,” Dandem said in a directive. “Every head of department should publish lecture time-tables for all academic programs immediately.”

UPDATE: Government Extends Deadline to December 9

Students at Enugu State University of Science and Technology returned to classes on Monday. The Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State was planning to start classes on Tuesday.

At Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko classes were resumed at some departments on Monday, the Daily Post reported.

“I think our Vice-Chancellor has compassion on us and that was why he asked us to resume; we have stayed too long at home,” said Oladimeji Ogunwale, a student. “It is a very good development. I know that lectures will continue without interruption”

The Nigerian Television Authority reportedly indicated that the University of Benin planned to resume classes on December 7 in preparation for exams on January 6.

At the same time, only four out of 600 lecturers resumed work, reported the Nigerian Eye. “We remain resolute not to go back to work in spite of the military order from the government,” said an anonymous professor. “Let them sack all of us, including those in medical colleges and let us see how far we can go.”

The situation is getting intense because the Nigerian government said that any lecturers still striking on December 4 would be removed.

But after the government announced the deadline, ASUU members mocked the government.

“Our reaction is simple. Let us just wait for the seven days to come around,” said Oghenekaro Ogbinaka, the head of the University of Lagos’ branch of the union. “We are not going to fall to that blackmail. Now, which one is better: government acceding to our demands or issuing out threats?”

ASUU National Treasurer Dr. Ademola Aremu said the Dec. 4 ultimatum is a sign of desperation, and he added that the threat won’t keep the ASUU from striking.

“It is a pity if the federal government is not willing to perfect the resolutions reached with the union,” he said. “This is why we find it difficult to trust our leaders by their words. How can someone be threatening to sack lecturers when universities are already short-staffed by almost 60,000?”

However, the latest actions by the universities appear to show that the strike is splintering and will be over soon for everybody.

The strike began in July and has disrupted classes for hundreds of thousands of students across the country. It has appeared numerous times over the past month or so to be close to ending, but the government and union leadership have not been able to come to an agreement, prompting President Goodluck Jonathan to issue the ultimatum.