The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has strongly condemned the urging of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to pay the six months in arrears for the entire period of the strike before they can call off the strike. .
NANS president, Comrade Sunday Asefon, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja described ASUU’s adamant position on the payment of salary areas as a basis for suspending the strike as selfish, inconsiderate and insensitive.
He also called on all state governors to ensure that all their state universities are open, and clarified that a state university would not be a beneficiary of the federal government’s ASUU demand, as governors are responsible for funding their state universities.
Asefon noted that since the onset of the ongoing ASUU strike, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had under his supervision been advocating for ASUU, including leading student protests, advocacy and fighting the federal government, and requested the government to to comply with the demands of the strike teachers.
He added that students also supported ASUU’s demand for earned stipend, revitalization funds for tertiary institutions, and the approval of the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) platform for university teacher payment, against the urging of the federal government. government on Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS).
“We had rejected the Education Minister’s suggestion that students hold ASUU accountable and seek legal damages for liabilities resulting from the strike.
“We have supported them thus far because we felt those demands were fair and reasonable.
“We condemn in its entirety ASUU’s insistence on the payment of the six-month arrears of salaries for the entire period of the strike before they can call off the strike.
“This question is not just insensitive; it is also selfish, inconsiderate and unloving. The six months are periods of no work. As much as we encourage the government to pay their arrears, it is unfair to base the resumption of academic activities on full payment of the arrears.
“Unfortunately, we also noticed that ASUU has refused to consider the students who are the big losers since the start of the strike. They have hidden the main points of contention from us. All other stakeholders except ASUU met us directly to discuss the issues.
“ASUU had disguised some of their interests as the interest of tertiary education in Nigeria, and at one point they disguised their interest as the interest of the students. We know that ASUU is less concerned about the interest of the students because of our experiences with them at our various tertiary institutions.
“University authorities have used ASUU members and leaders to expel, expel and suspend students for simply protesting for better welfare. They evicted and evicted students for protesting for basic necessities like water, electricity, habitable hostel accommodation, etc. At some point, their anti-student actions are so reckless that you keep wondering if these teachers even understand the right to dissent.
“ASUU members fail randomly with students because they question their views or opinions and sometimes ask too many questions. These same people cannot suddenly turn around to claim that they are fighting for our interests, they trample our interests at every opportunity in our various tertiary institutions.
“We believe that if the government has met key areas of their demand, ASUU should walk the path of honor by calling off the strike.
“We no longer believe this ongoing strike is fashionable, reasonable, justified and necessary. If the federal government has agreed to most of the requests that necessitated the strike in the first place, the continuation of the strike means there may be other ulterior motives unknown to the public and students and we will no longer remain at the ASUU support to keep the nation and higher education ransom.
“Demand a six-month arrears salary before the strike is called off, just as kidnappers demand their ransom before releasing their victim.
“The rule of law is the touchstone of a civilized society. If the ASUU leadership and its members insist that their six months salary that they are on strike is paid in violation of Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act which states that striking workers are not entitled to their pay, who is going to students pay for their six months’ rent and other costs?
“We demand an immediate end to this strike as we encourage the government to honor all its promises to ASUU in good faith.
“Our interest is an end to the ceaseless strike in our tertiary intuitions and nothing more”.
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