Nigerian students beg ASUU, ask lecturers to postpone planned strike until after exams

Students of Federal University Lokoja (FUL) on Monday pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) not to resume its strike until after their second-semester exams.

Students’ plea came after the Reports that the National Executive Council of ASUU will be meeting in Abuja today, Monday, November 7, 2022, to discuss the payment of half-salaries to the lecturers.

Recall that on Friday, October 16, 2022, ASUU suspended its eight-month-old strike which had shut down public universities in the country to demand full implementation of agreements it had entered into with the Federal Government a few years ago.

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While the ASUU strike lasted, the federal government had insisted on implementing the ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy when the university teachers were away from their duty posts.

However, things took a new turn last Thursday, November 3, 2022, when it was gathered that the government only paid half-month salaries to the university teachers.

Meanwhile students who made the plea while speaking with NAN in Lokoja, said it would be disastrous if their exams scheduled to commence on November 14 would not hold.

Miss Joy Abuh, a Political Science student, said her prayer was that Monday’s ASUU congress would not end up with resumption of the suspended strike.

“We have just settled down after the strike suspension and seriously preparing for our second semester exams starting next Monday.

 

 

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“It will be disastrous for us in FUL if the exams will not hold as scheduled, considering the eight months we have wasted at home.

“My fervent prayer is that the union will not declare any strike at the end of their meeting today in Abuja,” she said.

Another student, Adeiza Ibrahim, with Department of Education, lamented the effects of any further strike on the Nigerian students and called for a rethink from ASUU to allow academic activities continue while they settled their differences with the government.

“I think much damage has been done to the nation’s education system and there should be due consideration for a turn of new leaf because we’re talking about the our future, the youths of this country.

“If at the end, we won’t be allowed to write this semester exams, then it will be so terrible and devastating,” Ibrahim asserted.

Apeyemi Abubakar, a 100 Level student of Chemistry Education said, “all we are begging for is for ASUU to allow us write this examination without any hindrance”.

 

“We have stayed home longer than necessary and now that we are back in campus, the Federal Government and ASUU should not allow anything to tamper with our educational pursuits anymore, ” she begged.

On the other hand some branches across the country have held a congress to decide on the next steps to take.

The branch at the University of Jos, for instance, resolved that the lecturers stay home pending the payment of withheld salaries by the government; the branch at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University resolved that the 2021-2022 academic session be abolished, and the Gombe State University ASUU resolved that the examination results of students be seized.

A member of the NEC who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “Officially, the national body did not tell branches to hold congress, but many of them started calling meetings following the receipt of the amputated salary by the government. We don’t have to go on strike; there are lots of options available.”

When asked about the options available, the member said, “We can decide to stay at home, we can decide to seize results, or we can decide to cancel the session since the government won’t pay the withheld salary and we can’t work for months that we weren’t paid for.”

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