The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday said the union is at the threshold of victory in it’s struggle for the survival of the university system in the country.
The union accused the federal government of attempting to use intimidation and nonpayment of their entitlements to stop their push for the revitalisation of tertiary education in the country.
The National President of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke disclosed this in a statement obtained by DAILY GIST on Friday.
According to him, in the last 16 weeks that the union have been on industrial strike, the federal government has stopped the payment of their salaries.
The ASUU president, however, commended the union members for their perseverance toward achieving a common goal.
The statement reads: “Our roll-over strike is 16 weeks old now. As the struggle continues, members are commended for their commitment and steadfastness in the patriotic struggle for the survival of the University system in our country.
“Members are particularly applauded for keeping faith with the Union in spite of the hardship imposed on our families as a result of the stoppage of salaries. You have made the statement loud and clear that we are not beggars and, as a result, hunger is an impotent instrument to break our resolve.
“Our iron-cast resolve has forced the government to sit down and negotiate with us. We have had five meetings with the Federal Government Team and two meetings with the Minister of Education.
“The renegotiation of the 2009 agreement of ASUU-FGN agreement is progressing smoothly and has reached an advanced stage. However, we must remain focused to the end of this struggle.
“UTAS has been tested for the 3rd time. So far NITDA has tested UTAS and USPS and will start testing IPPIS next week. We are undeterred by the antic of some government officials in this respect.
“It is clear that hunger, misinformation, distortion of facts, intimidation and other sundry acts of arm-twisting have failed to break our resolve to date; they should not break us now.”
“Ignore fake news and divisive information emanating from the social media and a section of the press. If in doubt over any issue, contact your chairperson for correct information. We are at the threshold of victory. Let us keep faith with the Union. A people united can never be defeated.”
DAILY GIST reported that the union commenced a warning strike on February 14 over failure of the federal government to meet its demands and implement some agreements the two parties entered into previously.
ASUU’s demands include the funding of the revitalisation of public universities, the Earned Academic Allowances, the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and promotion arrears.
Others are the renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FG Agreement and the inconsistency in Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.
Students, parents and guardians have continued to lament the destructive impact the lingering 13 years of crises have had on learning in public universities.