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FG deceived us for five years, ASUU says as it declares ‘total indefinite’ strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari regime of being deceitful for five years and declared a “comprehensive, total and indefinite” strike.

Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, disclosed this in a statement issued at the end of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) emergency meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over Mr Buhari’s failure to accede to the union’s demands, including adequate funding for universities, salaries and earned allowances of lecturers, among others.

Mr Osodeke said the meeting was to review developments since its last resolution that rolled over the nationwide strike action for another four weeks starting from August 1.

“In view of the foregoing, and following extensive deliberations on government’s response to the resolution of February 14, 2022, so far, NEC concluded that the demands of the union had not been satisfactorily addressed,” said Mr Osodeke. “Consequently, NEC resolved to transmute the roll-over strike to a comprehensive, total and indefinite strike action beginning from 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022.”

ASUU accused Mr Buhari’s regime of “a lot of deceit of the highest level in the last five and half years.”

“The draft renegotiated FGN-ASUU Agreement (second draft) remains unsigned; the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) has not been adopted and deployed to replace the discredited Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS),” the striking lecturers stated. “The White Papers on Visitation Panels to federal universities, if ready as claimed by the government more than six months ago, are nowhere to be found.”

ASUU further accused Mr Buhari’s regime of failing to deliver on the promised balance of one tranche of the revitalisation fund more than one year after, and the outstanding two tranches of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) had not been released.

“NEC was utterly disappointed in agents of the government, especially the minister of education, for the deliberate falsehood and misrepresentation of facts aimed at scoring cheap political gains. It is disheartening to imagine that a minister whose responsibility it is to resolve the crisis can overnight turn round to lead in this ignoble enterprise of distorting facts and misleading Nigerians,’’ added the statement.

ASUU called for the “understanding, solidarity and sacrifices of all to ensure that every qualified Nigerian youth who cannot afford the cost of private university education or foreign studies has unhindered access to quality university education.”

The union acknowledged “past and current efforts by eminent Nigerians and groups to mediate in the lingering crisis” but vowed to remain focused on the full implementation of the December 23, 2020 memorandum of action for quick restoration of industrial harmony in Nigeria’s public universities.

(NAN)