THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has constituted a seven-man committee to defend the union’s position and refusal to suspend the ongoing strike that is getting to seven months.
The committee is expected to respond to any criticisms in the media against the alleged adamant posture of the university teachers to suspend the strike.
Recall that academic activities in Nigeria’s public universities have been suspended since February 14, 2022, ASUU declared one month warning strike and has been rolling it over up till date.
Although the three other university-based unions also withdrew their services in March this year as a result of unresolved issues with the federal government, nearly similar with the ASUU’s demands, the unions have suspended their own strike after entering into agreements with the government.
The three unions that have decided to resume work are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT.
Some of the demands of the four unions that led to the strike include, renegotiation of the 2009 agreements, the alleged inconsistencies occasioned by the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, the non-payment of earned allowances, payment of arrears of National Minimum wage and the release of white papers on visitation panel reports.
While ASUU has developed its preferred payment platform, the University Transparancy Accountability Solution, UTAS, the two non teaching staff unions of SSANU and NASU demanded for replacement of IPPIS with the University Peculiar Personnel Payroll System, U3PS.
While the three non teaching staff have accepted the offer made to them by the federal gocernment, ASUU has remained adamant claming that the government has not sufficiently addressed their demands.
The alleged hard stance of ASUU appears to be attracting negative reactions and sad commentary by a cross section of Nigerians, who felt that the strike has lingered for too long and should be suspended in the interest of the students.
Following the alleged negative reactions from the public and the bashing ASUU is receiving for not suspending the strike, the union has contituted a seven member committee to respond to any perceived attack on irs position.
The National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osadeke ha written to Prof. Ade Adejumo of the Lagos State University of Technology, LAUTEC, who is the Convener to counter any media report that may be against the interest of the union.
The letter dated 1st September with the title, “Constitution of Rapid Response Committee”, told members that their commitment towards the execution of the assignment would be appreciated.
The letter read: “The Academic Staff Union of Unuversities (ASUU) is at a very critical stage of its struggle towards the survival of public universities in Nigeria. It has been observed that a lot of media propaganda to misinform and malign the union is ongoing. The union appreciated your efforts in responding to this media war.
“The trustees and principal officers of the union decided to constitute a rapid response committee to immediately respond to various media publications, opinions, interviews etc, that may be against the interest of the union.”
The members according to the letter are Prof. Ade Adejumo (LAUTEC), Convener, Prof. Joseph A. Ushie (UNIUYO), member, Prof. Abdulgafar Amoka (ABU), member, Dr. Adelaja Odukoya (UNILAG), member, Dr. Taiwo Obateru (UNIJOS), member, Dr. Otu Otu Akanu (AE-FUNAI), member and and Prof. Victor Igbum (BSU), Secretary.
“Your commitment to this assignment as in the time past will be greatly appreciated,” it concluded.