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ASUU members threaten ‘fresh strike’

ASUU called off its strike on December 23, 2020, after a new deal with government.

A cross section of University lecturers have vowed to push for resumption of the suspended strike at their respective zonal levels over government’s ‘failure’ to honour agreements both parties reached at a meeting on December 22, last year.

Daily Trust reports that ASUU suspended its 9-month-old strike December 23rd, 2020 following certain agreements reached by both parties, which included payment of outstanding lecturers’ salaries on or before December 31, releasing of N40bn Earned Allowance before January 15, among others.

But in separate telephone interviews with our correspondent, the lecturers described the government’s refusal to honour the agreements as “insincerity”, saying such behaviour would be met with stiff resistance.

A Professor at University of Ibadan, who pleaded anonymity, said: “Well, the point is that, not that the federal government stopped paying our salaries but they have not paid it in accordance with the agreement.”

According to him, the agreements said they would pay by December 31st or before and “till now (Jan 5) they have not paid.”

He added: “Even, the Earned Allowances they agreed to pay by December through January, they have not paid anything.

“They didn’t pay dime even before we suspended the strike by December 23rd, that is the government we are dealing with.

“After all these, people will be blaming ASUU.

“People can now understand why ASUU insisted on getting what they wanted before they called-off the strike.

“They have not paid anything. The agreements are in black and white.”

When asked the time they would resume the suspended strike, the University Don said they (ASUU members) had not been officially communicated.

The University Don stated: “That was why ASUU gave a conditional suspension of the strike.

“You will remember ASUU said emphatically that the suspension was conditional.

“Ask me, the lecturers’ salaries were part of the 2020 budget.

“Where is the money now? The money they did not pay lecturers, where is it?

“That is the question the media should interrogate.

“They are not supposed to go and be looking for the money somewhere.

“We are dealing with an unreliable and insincere government.”


The tweets

Meanwhile, a twitter handle @ASUUNNGR, claiming to be the official twitter handle of ASUU, said the union will begin a fresh strike action next week.

In a tweet on Monday evening, it said: “FG fails to meet our Demand, Fresh Strike may begins next week.”


In another tweet on Tuesday morning, the body urged the government to honour the agreement reached on December 23.

When contacted, ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, told Daily Trust on the phone that he wouldn’t want to comment on the issue at the moment.


The agreement

According to the Memorandum of Action signed between the government and ASUU leadership at the meeting on December 22, the federal government agreed to release N40 billion to ASUU as earned allowance on or before December 31, 2020.

The government, through the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, was also supposed to continue the payment of the withheld salaries of the union members after Ngige got a special waiver from President Muhammadu Buhari to that effect.

But ASUU said, in Abuja, that the government had missed two timelines in the December 22, 2020 MoA with the failure to pay the N40 billion EAA and another tranche of the withheld four months salaries.