Across the university section, lecturers have vowed to press for the reinstatement of the suspended strike at their respective zonal levels over the ‘failure’ of the government to honor agreements reached by both parties at a meeting last year on December 22.
We had earlier reported that, following certain agreements reached by both sides, ASUU suspended its 9-month strike on December 23rd, 2020, including payment of unpaid lecturers’ salaries on or before December 31, the release of N40bn Earned Allowance before January 15, among others.
“But the lecturers characterized the government’s failure to honor the agreements as “insincerity” in separate telephone survey with our author, saying that such actions would be met with fierce resistance.
“A professor at the University of Ibadan, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “Well, the argument is that the federal government did not stop paying our salaries, but did not pay them in compliance with the agreement.
According to him, the agreements stated that they must pay by or before December 31st and “so far (Jan 5) they have not paid.”
He added: “Even though they agreed to pay the collected allowances between December and January, they did not pay anything.”
And before we stopped the strike on December 23rd, they didn’t pay a penny, which is the government we’re dealing with.
“After all this, people are going to blame ASUU.
Now people can understand why ASUU insisted on getting what they needed before the strike was called-off.
“They didn’t pay anything. The agreements are in white and black.
The University Don said they (ASUU members) had not been officially told when asked about the time they would restart the suspended strike.
The Don stated: “That was why ASUU gave the strike a conditional suspension.”
You will note that ASUU insistently said that the suspension was conditional.
Tell me, the pay for the lecturers was part of the 2020 budget.
“Where is the money now? The money the lecturers didn’t pay them, where is it?
“This is the issue that should be questioned by the media.
They’re not supposed to go somewhere and be looking for money.
“We are dealing with a government which is unreliable and insincere.”
In the meantime, @ASUUNNGR Twitter account, claiming to be ASUU’s official Twitter handle, said the union will launch a new strike next week.
In a Monday night tweet, it said: “FG doesn’t meet our demand, Fresh Strike may start next week.”
FG fails to meet our Demand, Fresh Strike may begins next week.
— Official__ASUU (@ASUUNNGR) January 4, 2021
The body called on the government to honor the agreement reached on December 23 in another tweet on Tuesday morning.
Government should honour the agreements because it will be a big surprise to Nigerians that ASUU is back on strike again if government fails to honour our demands the strike will continue!!
— Official__ASUU (@ASUUNNGR) January 5, 2021
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, told the Daily Trust on the phone when approached that at the moment he did not want to comment on the subject.
The federal government promised to release N40 billion to ASUU as received allowance on or before December 31, 2020, according to the Memorandum of Action signed by the government and ASUU leadership at the December 22 meeting.
The government, via the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, was also expected to continue paying the union members’ withheld salaries after Ngige obtained a special permission to such a effect from President Muhammadu Buhari.
But ASUU said, in Abuja, that in the MoA of December 22, 2020, the government had skipped two deadlines with the failure to pay the N40 billion EAA and another tranche of withheld four-month salaries.