Nigeria Government’s Injustice To ASUU -By Prof. Okike Benjamin

Filed under: National Issues |

It is very unfortunate that the Federal Government of Nigeria would sign an agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since 2009 and is yet to implement such an agreement to the letter.

If that agreement was between Federal Government of Nigeria and either National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Boko Haram (BH), Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) or any of the other unregistered ethnic militia, one would have thought that the Federal Government of Nigeria was under duress to have signed such an agreement. Or perhaps, put in another way, the Federal Government of Nigeria signed the 2009 agreement at gun point. But I do not think that ASUU in any way fall within that category of people that may threaten others with gun, except where ASUU members are usually the victims of gun threats such as experienced recently in University of Maiduguri.

As an ASUU member, if the Federal Government resorts to renegotiation of the signed agreement, I will not support that since renegotiation of the signed agreement since that may be likened to someone invited to ASO ROCK by ‘unlicensed’ cabals, and on her way to ASO ROCK, decided to empty her stomach by vomiting profusely with the high expectations that she was going to dine and wine with the authorities. But unfortunately for this young lady, she was not even offered a sachet of pure water to drink and on her way back from ASO ROCK, decided to go back to her vomit and ate up everything including the ‘dancing’ maggots in that vomit due to hunger. The only negotiation that may be acceptable to ASUU leadership should be salary review which was due in 2014, but was not even discussed as the main issues in the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement was not fully implemented.

There is no doubt that very soon, the Traditional Rulers, Senators, House of Representative members, Ministers, Governors, etc would start appealing to ASUU to call off the strike in the interest of the nation and Nigeria youths. As has always been the case, if ASUU decide not to heed to their appeals, the same group of people would resort to intimidation, pressure, blackmail, propaganda and their likes.

One keeps wondering where these group of people have been and their roles in mediating between FGN/ASUU since 2009 till date. After the warning strike late last year, what has happened? Was there any discussion with ASUU leadership so that this total and indefinite strike would be avoided?

In the light of the above, ASUU leadership should not yield to any amount of intimidation, blackmail, pressure or propaganda until the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement is fully implemented.

Professor Okike Benjamin, a University of Abuja Lecturer.