NLC to FG:Accede To ASUU Requests

Omar 600(Official Statement) The Nigeria Labour Congress is deeply concerned about the on-going nation-wide strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). This strike action, is completely avoidable, but made inevitable by Federal government’s insensitivity, and a penchant for observing agreements in the breach.
The issues articulated by ASUU are not self-serving but tenable, valid and germane to the sustenance of a qualitatively viable education system, the hope of any serious nation.
In a nutshell, these issues include, the lingering crisis at the Rivers State University of Technology (RSUST), the continued violation of the rights of the re-engaged 49 academics at the University of Ilorin, the non-release of the White Paper on Special Visitation to the University of Abuja, the parlous state of the economy and government’s disregard for its agreements.
The violations at RSUST and Unilorin hurt academic ethics and culture as well as infringe on human rights of specific parties and therefore not acceptable. Universities are citadels of learning with rights, privileges and obligations and not extensions of political parties or militia groups where impunity and convenience seem to be the rule of the thumb.
The Nigeria Labour Congress finds it completely unacceptable that government refuses to implement agreements it willingly, voluntarily and sanely entered into. Acts of impunity belong in the stone age. Government does not expect that its serial acts of breach or impunity will go unprotested.
The crisis in the education sector with multiplier effects ought to worry the government. Rather than join issues with ASUU, it should collaborate with it as a partner. None of these issues is new, thus no reasonable person could accuse ASUU of impatience or not following due process before going on strike.
The Congress is saddened by the fact that government almost always finds money to service its insular political interests, but never enough for education. The rot and the decay in our education system call for an urgent intervention.
We equally align ourselves with ASUU on its position on the economy; economic growth without jobs or development, is nothing.
In the light of the foregoing, Congress wishes to call on the government:
1) Immediately end this strike action by implementing the agreements it entered into with ASUU
2) Declare a state of emergency in education, as no nation grows without education
3) Respect the rights and privileges of ASUU members especially at Unilorin;
4) Practice, inculcate, nurture time-honoured values at RSUST;
5) Review its economic policies that will not only be productive, but are job and development-oriented.
Abdulwahed I. Omar

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