Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Strike Freezes Academic Activities Across Nigeria

The nation’s body of university lecturers and academic staff is in their second day of the national strike over the inability of the Federal Government to meet their demands. Reports show that the strike by ASUU has affected academic work in several universities in Nigeria.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Rufai, has said an offer has been made to the union and that the government was awaiting its response. The minister, who spoke yesterday in Abuja at the Annual General Meeting of the West and Central African Research Education Network, stated that the government was constantly in touch with ASUU and assured that the cordial relationship would continue. “In fact, you know they are our colleagues, we discussed with them, we had a meeting, we made an offer as government and we are expecting to hear from them.”

Speaking to journalists earlier at the event, Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, who also confirmed the offer made to ASUU, however, claimed that the government was not aware that the union has gone on strike. “I don’t want to hear in the public place that we are on strike, we have no official report from them; they should write to us. We have been meeting regularly, even on Sunday about three weeks ago, there was an offer made by government to them.

They said they are going to their National Executive Council Meeting (NEC); all we expect from them is to come back to us and tell us what their NEC said. As far as I am concerned, I don’t know if they are on strike.” Okojie stated. At the University of Ibadan (UI), students who reported for early morning lectures went back disappointed as lecturers shunned classes. Students were seen playing soccer and basket ball within the campus while final year students lamented their fate and the effect of the strike on them.

Meanwhile the student body which is most affected are pleading with both parties not to elongate their stay in school but rather find a way to agree so they can go back to their studies.

At the University of Lagos (UNILAG) yesterday, students gathered to lament the sudden turn of event. One of them, who identified himself as Obishakin Anu, pleaded with the government to stop playing politics with education, warning that the consequences of their neglect of the sector will greatly endanger the future of the country.

Additional reports: Guardian

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