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Activist calls for all hands on deck to end ASUU strike

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A human rights activist and writer, Philip Agbese, on Wednesday, November 18, wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the prolonged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.

Agbese in his letter urged the president to allow him to volunteer and lead negotiations with the lecturers’ union to ensure the eight months-long strike comes to an end. NLC reveals the main reason why ASUU strike has not been called off. Regretting that students affected by the ASUU strike are losing an entire academic session, the activist in his letter titled, “ASUU and the need for our students to be back to campus” pleaded with the president to change the negotiation method with the union. He said a new approach and style should be adopted by the federal government to dismantle this long strike by ASUU. He also vowed to voluntarily – without any form of gratification – lead negotiations with the striking union and find a lasting solution to the protracted impasse. On social media, Nigerians have been commenting on the impasse in the negotiations between ASUU and the federal government.

Efe Camilus wrote on Twitter:

“Nigeria would create a new record of the only country that kept university students out of the classroom for a year if the ASUU strike is not resolved. We have a government that does not prioritize education which is the bedrock of development.”

Moses Jiyah Dangana wrote:

“On the lingering ASUU strike in Nigeria, I’ve earlier advised the federal government to approach the National Industrial Court and seek a court order to restrain ASUU. Before the “hunter” becomes the “hunted,” the federal government should act decisively. ASUU can be PROSCRIBED. Yes!”
Kalu Oge wrote:

“God knows I feel for students still stuck in a level because of the unending ASUU strike. And of course, sadly, recruiters will still tag the usual age limit on applications with their full chests without considering these delays. It is well.”

Taofik Adeniji wrote:

“They are wasting away preciousness of time of a generation with vigour. Is it a case of keeping them in the school system because of the saturated employment market? If that is the policy, it is a faulty conspiracy theory.”

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ASUU chapters at loggerheads after FG offer to end 8-month strike.

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The controversy generated by the ongoing strike between the federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is yet to abate despite the pleas from Nigerians.

The Nation reports that some branches of ASUU were divided over whether to accept the federal government’s offer and call off their eight-month-old strike. Legit.ng gathered that the union would harmonise the positions of zones and branches at a meeting in Abuja on Friday, November 27. The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, addressing the leadership of ASUU in Abuja over the strike. The report said while some branches insisted that the government must meet all the demands before the strike is called off, the union may put the decision to a vote. It was learnt that the Ahmadu Bello University branch agreed with the government on the N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA).

The branch, however, called for payment of the allowance before the strike will be called off. The newspaper noted that the lecturers at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Delta state, said negotiations with the federal government must be concluded before the strike is called off. The chairman of ASUU at the university, Ezekiel Agbalagba, said the congress on Wednesday, November 25, accepted the EAA, but rejected the N25 billion for the revitalisation of the varsities.

He said:

“We are willing to suspend the strike, but some of those contending issues should be thrashed and thrashed once.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the authority of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) directed all non-teaching staff of the institution to resume work on Friday, November 27, with cutlasses, hoes, brooms, and buckets to clear overgrown grass, sweep offices as well as keep the environment clean.

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