The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike continued on Monday with academic staff vowing to continue the strike until their demands are met.
The union alleges that Nigeria has not budgeted enough money for improving schools and universities, and has gone back on some aspects of an agreement reached in 2009.
“What government has so far been doing is no more than a repeat performance of a one-act-play: all the deceptions, propaganda, lies, mischiefs and such other Shenanigans were tried by previous Governments, including Military Juntas, but our resolve to save the University System and our Country remained unwaivered,” said the union’s president in a message on the union’s website. “We will continue to carry the banner of this struggle to its logical conclusion.”
Protesting union members were out again on Monday. Several spoke to the Daily Post.
Professor Ike Odimegwu of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University 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 … 8.2 percent budget for education is not enough.”
Meanwhile, leaders of the union chapter of the Universities of Ibadan claimed that government leaders want them dead. “Apart from the issue of finance, ASUU leaders are now being trailed all over the place,” Dr. Olusegun Ajiboye, chairman of the chapter, said in a press release. The majority of our union leaders have gone underground while many have their telephone lines bugged. Some are now living in fear for their lives.”
The strike was originally announced on July 1 and negotiations between the government and ASUU have been taking place since then.
The strike is wearing on the patience of mothers across the nation, though. A group of women protested at the National Assembly on Monday, telling the ASUU that it should call off the strike.
“We are tired of seeing our children at home,” Felicia Sani, president of the National Market Women Association, said, reported the Vanguard. “We want our children back in school. Enough of this cheap blackmail.”
“We all know what they do with our year-one daughters in the university. We equally know that they sell handouts and handbooks.”
“Is this not worse than corruption of the highest order?”