The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Akure zone says the Nigerian government is pressuring lecturers to resume after many months of neglect.
At a press briefing, ASUU representatives said that the #EndSARS protest had galvanized the government into action, but schools would stay closed until their long-standing demands are addressed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our issues remain funding for revitalization of public universities, payment of earned academic allowances, visitation panels to universities and renegotiation of 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement,” the zonal coordinator of the union, Olu Olufayo said.
“Since 2009, we have conscientiously approached the government to be faithful to implement the agreement it freely entered into with the union. The current struggle derives from this history.
“We are tired of the strike. Our children are attending the public institution, and it is sad that those frustrating our agitations, their children are not attending schools in Nigeria. It is so unfortunate. The government is intentionally starving us for our members to compromise and resume.”
Olufayo said the government was agitated because the ASUU standoff formed part of the anger of the youths who came out to demonstrate against police brutality across the country.
“Our students have stayed home for almost a year. We are not the cause. We started our strike before COVID-19, and those students were fed up, and it was part of what contributed to #EndSARS, and the FG realized that. They are now calling for negotiations that they turned down months back.
“The students, during #EndSARS, also called for an end to bad governance. I know that students in Kwara State University gave the government two weeks ultimatum to sort the issue with ASUU else they would hit streets with protest, that scares the government. They are rushing us to resume.”
He urged the federal government to have pity on the children of ordinary Nigerians and quickly attend to the lingering issues without delay.
“The public should not blame ASUU for further damage to the university educational system but hold the federal government responsible,” he added.