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ASUU: FG has done nothing to warrant suspension of strike

Any hope of early suspension of the six-monthold indefinite nationwide strike by university lecturers under the auspices of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since February 14, was further dashed on Monday. This was as ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who foreclosed an early end to the strike, insisted that the strike is still on-going and that there was no plan by the union to either call it off or suspend it. Osodeke, who spoke with New Telegraph on phone, said nothing had happened or had been substantially done by the Federal Government since the strike was declared by the union to warrant any move to suspend it.

He explained that though the leadership of the union had met with the Federal Government, the meetings had not produced any fruitful result to indicate or show that it was serious in resolving the lingering crisis, and save the university system from its present rot.

“The strike is on-going and there is no plan by ASUU to suspend it since the Federal Government is not ready and has not shown any commitment to resolve the contending issues. It is true we have met with government representatives, but nothing has happened to warrant calling it off or suspending it,” he stated. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has resorted to apply or implement the ‘no-work, no-pay’ rule on the union members as part of measures to enforce the suspension of the strike and resumption of academic activities that had since been paralysed in the universities. But, reacting to the implementation of the ‘no-work, no-pay’ rule against lecturers, the ASUU president, however, said that the policy had no bearing on the union and could not be used by the government as a condition for the suspension of the strike.

“The struggle is more than salary payment. The union is after the rehabilitation and revitalisation of the public university system so as to save it from its present rot and imminent collapse,” Osodeke said. “If they like, let them pay. If they like, let them not pay. ASUU members are not beggars. They are academics who are being sought after beyond the shores of this country. Our struggle is beyond salary.”

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