Parents and students have berated the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government over the two-month extension of the ASUU’s one-month warning strike.
Speaking to Daily Trust, they knocked the government and the union for not resolving the dispute.
ASUU’s demands include the revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement and alleged inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS) payments.
ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke said the strike was extended because the government failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action within the four-week warning strike.
Osodeke, in a statement after the union’s National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja, said the union decided to give the government eight weeks to address all the issues “in concrete terms”.
He said, “NEC acknowledged the intervention efforts, in various ways, by patriots and friends of genuine national development (students, parents, journalists, trade union leaders, civil society activists etc) to expeditiously resolve the crisis which government’s disposition had allowed to fester.
“However, ASUU, as a union of intellectuals, has historic obligations to make government honour agreements.”
Reacting to the development, a 300 level student of the University of Abuja, Chibuzor Kenneth, said, “I blamed both the government and ASUU because they do not care what the poor masses go through to get educated since they can afford to send their wards abroad.”
A student of the Nasarawa State University Keffi, Catherin Stephen, said, “I’m not happy at all, it’s not fair on us students. The FG and ASUU should please come to an agreement on this. We’re suffering, wasting time at home doing nothing. We, students, are the one at the receiving end of all these. They should please end it.”
A parent, who simply identified themselves as Mary, said ASUU, by extending the strike, was insensitive to the effect the strike was having on parents and students.
“A warning strike is usually called off after you’ve pressed your demands and you wait and give time for it to be met. Why can’t ASUU call off the strike and see what the government will come up with?” she queried.
Another parent, Leo Okorie, said the university lecturers are not as innocent as they claimed.
He also described the government as unserious for not paying attention to the plight of its citizens.
“In other developed nations, the issue of ASUU/FG would have been resolved long ago because of the importance of education. Rather, they are using it here for power play, it’s unfortunate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, yesterday insisted that the government had met all of the demands of ASUU.
He was speaking to newsmen in Abuja on the sidelines of the commemoration of the 2022 Commonwealth Celebration.