Governors beg ASUU to cooperate with Buhari’s government as strike enters day 212

The Northern Governors’ Forum has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to cooperate with the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to end the ongoing strike.

According to reports, the governors made this appeal after a meeting with the Northern Traditional Rulers Council on Monday, September 12, 2022 in Abuja.

Recall, that the ongoing ASUU strike which has grounded academic activities in public varsities in the country started on February 14, 2022, and entered day 212 today, September 14, 2022.

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The union is demanding the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

The government had claimed to have addressed most of the union’s demands including the release of N50b for the payment of earned allowances for academic and non-academic and non-academic staff of universities but said the that the union will not be paid the arrears of the strike period.

ASUU has also insisted on not calling off the lingering strike until the arrears are settled.

But in a statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to Plateau State Governor, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, on behalf of the forum’s chairman, Governor Simon Lalong, said the ASUU strike was punitive for most students from the region who were attending public universities.

Similarly, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has urged the ASUU chapter at the state university in Keffi to pull out of the union’s strike.

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This, it said, is in the interest of the poor masses and the overall development of the state.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Daniel Ogazi, made the appeal yesterday in Lafia, the state capital, at a meeting with officials of ASUU and the state university.

Ogazi (APC Kokona East), who is the Deputy Majority Leader, said the state government and the House were committed to making the university attain international standards.

“We call this meeting to appeal to you to suspend the ASUU strike and resume work in the interest of poor students and the state at large.

“…Governor Abdullahi Sule and the House, under the leadership of Speaker Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi are committed to making the university among the best in the country.

Meanwhile, students who blocked some major highways yesterday due to the ongoing ASUU strike have vowed to continue until the issue is solved.

Addressing journalists at the scene, Afeez Akinteye, the National Vice-President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) External Affairs, said: “Our demand is not new; it is for the government to end the ASUU strike now.

“We have had enough of this. We started the protest today; we will continue until the strike is called off.

“We don’t want to know how they will do it, because the government has the money and the power.

“We are just interested in going back to the classrooms, they should fund education and end the ASUU strike.

“With the new leadership of NANS, it is not going to be business as usual,” Akinteye said.

He said the protest would be continuous, adding that students were ready to give it all it takes to go back to the classrooms.

“We have packed our loads from our homes and we are now ready for this struggle until the strike is called off.

“Over 500 of us from various universities nationwide are staging this protest, saying ‘End ASUU strike permanently,” Akinteye said.

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