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ASUU says no going back on strike

He told newsmen at the University of Lagos that government had not treated the union’s patience with sincerity, noting that all its proposals in the…

He told newsmen at the University of Lagos that government had not treated the union’s patience with sincerity, noting that all its proposals in the past had not come to fruition.

The union had on June 22 declared an indefinite strike to compell government to sign and implement the joint agreement they entered into in 2008, through their negotiating teams.

Awuzie said the two negotiating teams had the full mandate of their principals to negotiate and enter into agreement on all outstanding issues.

“For more than two years, government and ASUU negotiating teams searched for a minimum point, from which the Nigerian university system can make significant progress, especially toward reversing the brain drain.

“The brain drain has deprived Nigeria of a large pool of scholars, whose intellectual cum scientific production will reposition the country for greater responsibilities,” he said.

Awuzie said the negotiating teams arrived at a minimal condition for reversing the decay in the university system, and the need for immediate and massive financial intervention.

The union leader said the negotiating teams had agreed that if the country was to get where it ought to be, a minimum of 26 per cent of the annual budgets of both the state and Federal Government must be allocated to education.

He said the May 12 date scheduled by the Federal Government for the signing of the agreement had turned out to be a classic case of deception, which forced the union to embark on the current strike that could have been avoided.

Awuzie described as unfortunate, the recent statement credited to the Minister of Education, Dr Sam Egwu, in the wake of the strike, saying the issues raised in it “obviously fly in the face of the indisputable facts, chronicled by the union.”

He also said that it was wrong for government to site economic meltdown as part of the reasons for the delay in signing the agreement.

The union leader also dismissed reports that government had met three out of the four demands presented by ASUU, saying it was calculated attempt to trivialise the essence and spirit of the negotiation.

He appealed to state governments and all education stakeholders to prevail on the Federal Government to do the proper thing, so as to end the strike and its disruptive effects on the education system. (NAN)