The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has vowed to continue its strike until the Federal Government provides adequate funding for tertiary education.
The union asked Nigerians to hold the government accountable for the industrial action, demonstrating a nonchalant attitude to meeting ASUU’s demands.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in his goodwill message at the maiden Nigerian Medical Association Annual Lecture, alleged that the chief of staff to the president, the finance and education minister flouted President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to engage the union to end the crisis.
“We will not give up. They will either give in to us or Nigerians will rise up against them,” he said.
The ASUU president added, “We have been on strike for about eight weeks to nine weeks now. The president of this country, President Muhammadu Buhari, had directed about five weeks ago, when the Sultan of Sokoto visited him, that the Minister of Education, Minister of Finance, the Minister of Labour and the Chief of Staff to the President should meet with us in his office, that has not been done.”
Osodeke revealed that only the executive secretary of the National Universities Commission and labour minister Chris Ngige had met with ASUU.
“The government is the one keeping Nigerian students at home, and Nigerians must rise to challenge this government for what they are doing. They cannot fight insecurity if they are keeping the student at home,” he stated.
He added that ASUU had also met with Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, “about three times.”
“We have met with the Sultan of Sokoto. We have met with Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti State. What else do you want us to do? What else do Nigerians want us to do?” stated the ASUU president.
Speaking on the payment of tuition fees, he noted, “Nigerians, you have been talking about people paying school fees; that tuition fees should be introduced. If we can all go to our local governments and ask the people in our local governments whether they can pay tuition, and they accept, we will go with it.”