Fresh crisis has hit public universities in Nigeria as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday embarked on two weeks warning strike to compel the Federal Government to meet its outstanding demands.
ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, announced the strike action in a press conference after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).
Ogunyemi said having discussed the provisions in the 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA), which have not been implemented, the NEC resolved to embark on two-week warning strike action with effect from Monday, 9th March 2020 to compel the Federal Government to implement the agreement and resolution of Memorandum of Action.
He warned that the Federal Government’s attempt to dictate what happens in Nigerian university system erodes the autonomy of our universities, making them incapable of delivering on respective mandates in teaching, research and service.
The ASUU helmsman cited as a case in point, the imposition of the obnoxious Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) on universities, despite its demonstrated shortcomings.
Ogunyemi, who was flanked by other leaders of the union, equally lamented the alarming security situation in the country, disheartening state of the economy, aggravated infrastructure decay, deficiency and decay in the university system and attempt by the Federal Government to dictate what happens in the citadels of learning.
He said as a union of intellectuals driven by the patriotic quest for national development, based on the principles of equity, probity and fairness, they took a critical look at the state of the Nigerian universities, the increasing parlous state of the polity with attendant adverse consequences for the ordinary Nigerians, the mindless betrayal of Nigerians by the ruling class, which has resulted in crippling poverty across the nation, and the state of Nigerian public universities.
On the state of the nation, the ASUU helmsman described the state of insecurity in the country as alarming, stressing that armed robbery, kidnapping, hostage-taking of all kinds, banditry, militancy, herdsmen/farmers clashes, and insurgency had become so rife that they appear to have overwhelmed our security agencies, despite huge budgetary allocations to security.
“ASUU calls on the Federal Government to a matter of urgency overhaul the nation’s security architecture. The failure of the Federal Government to ensure the security of Nigerian citizens had led to the emergence of sporadic security outfits. This is a sign that the Federal Government has failed to protect Nigerian citizens as stipulated in the Constitution of Nigeria.
“The failure of Government to ensure social justice, wealth and employment creation and accountable, responsive and responsible governance at all levels, is no doubt, at the root of pervasive insecurity problems. We call on the Federal Government to give attention to this dimension of the solution.