ASUU Strike: Lagos State University (LASU) lecturers vow to continue strike

Despite the threat by the federal government to sack lecturers who refuse to resume teaching by Wednesday, the Lagos State University, LASU, branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, at the end of its congress on Tuesday, unanimously agreed not to resume work until government meets the union’s demands.

The Chairman of LASU branch of the ASUU, Adekunle Idris, described the threat to sack lecturers who refused to resume work by Wednesday as an outdated approach to solving issues and a joke. He said that the lecturers unanimously agreed not turn-up for a meeting called by the institution’s management to discuss issues related to on-going strike.

“Congress resolved that if for any reason the university management creates a register, no member of ASUU shall sign such a register,” he said. “ASUU is as solid as ever. The summary of the present threat is for ASUU to give up on Nigeria. We will not give up.”

He wondered where the government intended to find others to replace the ones it threatened to sack.

“I’m sure they will get their professors and doctors from Alaba or Idumota market. Maybe they will employ some from India or Cuba to teach the students,” he said sarcastically. “The sack threat was made in 1993 through 2006. It’s an old and jaded line they use when they have no other idea.”

Mr. Idris accused the government of resorting to political blackmail and misinformation to force the lecturers to work, while reneging on the resolution the union reached with President Goodluck Jonathan after a recent 13 hours meeting.

He said the information put out by government after the meeting with ASUU was government’s understanding of what was discussed and not the resolution reached at the meeting.

According to him, government pledged to fund universities with N200million annually – a resolution ASUU agreed with. However, he said, the union asked that the money be deposited at the Central Bank and be released to universities within two weeks.

Mr. Idris also disclosed that the union was demanding for a non-victimisation clause – as is done internationally – to be included in the resolution. He said that following the disregard of previous agreements signed with the government, the union was demanding that a top government official, preferably the Attorney General of the Federation, sign the agreement; alongside the ASUU president.

He also said that it was “absolute falsehood” that majority of the union’s branches had voted for the five-month old strike to be called off during its last national congress.

“We do not expect leaders to distort fact when issue of national importance is at stake. 42 branches out of 58 advised for suspension if certain conditions are met. Only eight branches said the strike should be suspended while negotiation is on-going,” he said.

Meanwhile, ASUU National President, Nassir Fagge, in a strike bulletin has asked members of the union to remain resolute despite the threat by government to sack all striking lecturers.