Deadline for Buhari’s order elapses, no visible action from Education minister, Adamu Adamu as ASUU strike enters 170th day

The deadline given by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to address the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and report back to him within two weeks has elapsed on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, with the parties yet to make any headway in their negotiations.

Recall, the ongoing ASUU strike began on February 14, 2022, before Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Allied Educational Institutions (NASU) National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) joined, entered its 170th day today, August 3, 2022.

Some of the demands date back to the unimplemented 2009 agreement the Federal Government had with the union.

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ASUU’s strike has paralysed academic activities in all universities where its members downed tools.

The union on August 1, 2022, rolled over the strike with additional four weeks, following alleged failure by the government to address the issue.

This was even after the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), backed by some civil society organisations and students, organised a nationwide solidarity protest supporting ASUU on July 26 and 27, 2022.

Buhari had ordered Adamu to work with other officials in his government to resolve the stalemate during a meeting with the relevant Federal Government officials in his office on July 19, 2022.

However, on Tuesday, when contacted Ben. Bem Goong, Director, Press and Public Relations, in the Education Ministry, to get an update on the minister’s response to the president’s directive. He never respond to calls or text messages.

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Meanwhile, the union on Tuesday has said none of its university lecturers has been paid since the union embarked on industrial action in February.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, accused the Federal Government of using hunger as a tool to force the striking lecturers into returning to their classrooms.

Noting that their salaries have been held for the past six months, Osodeke said the current administration cannot use the force of hunger to pull the striking union members.

According to him, the Federal Government thinks that depriving the lecturers of their salaries will force the university teachers to collapse and end the strike.

“Our salaries have been held, this is the sixth month or salaries have been held. They thought that if they hold our salaries for two or three months we will come begging and say ‘pls allow us to go back to work,” the ASUU President said.

“But we as a union of intellectuals, we have grown beyond that. You can’t use the force of hunger to pull our members back which is exactly what the government is doing.”

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