The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reiterated its stance that the federal government has not shown any commitment or seriousness towards the implementation of the 2009 agreement as a way of resolving the ongoing strike which commenced on June 30.
The union also said the government has not given Nigerians much reasons to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the country as an independent nation, especially when considering the high rate of insecurity in the country.
The Chairman of ASUU (UniAbuja chapter), Dr. Clement Chup, while speaking with THISDAY in a telephone interview yesterday, lamented that President Goodluck Jonathan, in his presidential chat aired on Sunday night, chose to describe the ongoing strike as one that had taken on a political dimension.
“Unfortunately, when he was asked the nature of politics, he did not respond, he did not tell us how the strike is political. So, I do not know what exactly he means by saying the strike has turned political.
“Government clearly has not shown any commitment and from what the president was saying yesterday, you could see that there is no commitment: the way he was talking about the strike, as if it is one small issue that does not matter. If he so feels so, we are saying that we are ones at the receiving end and we are committed to this strike,” Chup said.
He disclosed that the strike would persist as all state congresses of the union had rejected the pleas of Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who engaged the leadership of the union in talks about two weeks ago.
The vice-president, he said, did not offer anything ‘concrete’, adding that the strike, which was declared total, indefinite and comprehensive from the onset, would not be reneged on by the union.
“There was some discussion with the vice-president two weeks ago and we took it to the congresses, that the vice-president simply made appeals to ASUU, there was nothing concrete. And so the congresses resolved that there was nothing substantial and they are continuing with the strike. This is to tell you that we have not heard anything concrete or serious from government. From the commencement of the strike we declared clearly that it was a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike, and that unless government shows commitment to the implementation of the 2009 agreement, we are not reneging on this strike, it remains so,” he added.
Chup, who mourned the students who were murdered by gunmen at the College of Agriculture, Gujba, Yobe State on Sunday described the attack as highly unfortunate, inhuman and insensitive.
He called on the government to rise up to the occasion and provide security of lives and property for all Nigerians. “For a matter like this, are we saying this people who are perpetrating this lawlessness and this criminality are above government? What is the business of government if it cannot provide security? This criminals have to be checkmated,” he stated.
Commenting on Nigeria’s 53rd independence anniversary, Chup said: “At 53, maybe we can just celebrate that we are still a nation, but our government has not given us enough reasons to be hopeful, there is no motivation. Even yesterday during the media chat, one was disappointed because there is nothing he took serious, there is no concrete measure to solve any problem. One begins to wonder what kind of people we have in government: no commitment or seriousness, or responsibility. As a country, if we have the right people in position, we would make progress.”