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ASUU tells the Federal Government, “We’re not beggars, and hunger won’t make us go back to work

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The union’s leaders also thanked the members for staying with the union even though their families were having a hard time because of the Federal Government’s “No Work, No Pay” rule.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities told The PUNCH that its members are not beggars and that the government’s decision to stop paying them won’t make them stop their strike.

The union’s leaders also thanked the members for staying with the union even though their families were having a hard time because of the Federal Government’s “No Work, No Pay” rule.

After the government didn’t meet some of the union’s remaining demands, ASUU announced a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022. This was followed by an eight-week strike, and then the union went on an indefinite strike.

The Federal Government put in place “No Work, No Pay” because the strike kept going on. Dr. Chris Ngige, who is the Minister of Labour and Employment, said that the order was in line with Section 43 of the Labour Law.

Even though some of the union’s demands are still being negotiated, the ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said that he was hopeful that the union was about to win.

He did say, though, that the government had to start talking because the union was so determined.

He said, “As the fight goes on, our members should be praised for their dedication and perseverance in the patriotic fight to save the university system in our country.”

“Our members should be commended for sticking with the union even though the stoppage in pay has made things hard for our families. They have made it clear that we are not beggars, so hunger can’t break our will.

“We were so determined that the government had no choice but to sit down and talk with us. We’ve met with the team from the Federal Government five times, and the Minister of Education twice. The talks to change the agreement between ASUU and FGN from 2009 are going well and have reached an advanced stage.

“However, we must keep our minds on the goal until this fight is over. For the third time, UTAS (University Transparency and Accountability Solution) has been tested. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has tested UTAS and UPS so far. Next week, they will begin testing IPPIS. In this case, the antics of some government officials don’t bother us.

“Victory is just around the corner. Let’s stay true to the union. People who work together can never lose.”

The PUNCH said that lecturers in universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education have been on strike for at least 719 days during President Muhammadu Buhari’s time in office (retd.).

Education rights groups like Reform Education Nigeria, Education Rights Campaign, and others have kept calling for a complete reform of the tertiary education sector.

 

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