The ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, may continue for a long time as the union has threatened not to honour further invitations by Federal Government for dialogue.
ASUU’s national president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, made this known on Sunday in Lagos, accusing the government of insincerity in the bid to resolve the problems.
His words: “Since the commencement of this strike, we have had six meetings with agents of the Federal Government, with no clear commitment from government to resolving the issues we presented.
“Government appears to have adopted ‘keep them talking’ strategy while deceiving the public that progress was being made and that partial agreements had been reached between union and government.
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“We want to say that government has continually and falsely raised the hopes of the Nigerian public on the state of discussion with our union and we may not be interested in holding further dialogue with them until we see signs of commitment and sincerity in addressing the issues before them.
“Our expectation from a very responsive and sincere position is that by now, all outstanding issues would have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
“Unfortunately, government is yet to show commitment and sincerity in addressing these problems.”
Ogunyemi stressed that his team might not honour further invitations argued that there were strong indications the continuation of Dr. Wale Babalakin as the head of the renegotiation with ASUU would not yield good fruit.
He stressed the commitment of the union to the struggle over the need to improve the education in the country.
“If we miss education, we miss development as we will end up being enslaved the second time.
“What is happening in this country now is that people are privatising everything, including education and before we know it, what happened to our primary and secondary education will happen.
“And these are some of the things we are supposed to be tracking and engaged in this society, if we want to make the change that we need.
“Our conviction is the reason behind the prolonged strike and our members have the conviction that until we get education right, Nigeria will never get it right.
“Insurgency will increase, banditry, poverty, kidnapping, misery and other societal ills will continue.
“Let me also state clearly too that our strike has nothing to do with politics or election, as is being speculated in some sectors of the society.
“We have never thought of aborting any election. We do not want to create problem for this country but let government do the right thing,” he said.
It would be recalled that ASUU commenced its strike on November 4 over the non-implementation of agreements entered into with the Federal Government in 2009 and 2017.
The agreements bordered on the need to ensure adequate funding and provision of improved welfare for its members.
Before threatening not to honour another invitation, several meetings had been held between the government and ASUU but there has not been an end to the strike.
ASUU walked out of the last meeting which it with the Federal Government representatives over the strike.