Some students of University of Jos (UNIJOS) have appealed to the Federal Government (FG) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to find a common ground towards ending the incessant strikes in the universities.
They made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Friday in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
Recall that ASUU had on Monday declared a one-month warning strike to drive home its demands, just after it suspended its nine-month-old strike in December last year.
ASUU had claimed that the FG was yet to honour the agreement it reached with it since 2009.
The students called on the duo to return to the negotiating table with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issue.
Edlyn Pam, a 400-level student of Mass Communication in the institution, decried that the incessant strikes had constituted a stumbling block to her academic journey.
Pam, who lamented that the strikes by ASUU had delayed her graduation, added that it had affected the academic calendar of public universities in the country.
“Ordinarily, by now, I should have graduated, but for the numerous strikes by ASUU, I’m still here.
“I have spent six years pursuing a course I should have completed in four years; I’m not even sure when I’m going to graduate.
“By the time I will be graduating, I may be above 30 years’ old and will not be eligible to go for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
“So, I’m pleading with the Federal Government and ASUU to reach a sincere agreement so as to safe the future of university education in the country,” she disclosed.
Another student, Kwaptoe Fred, said that both the ASUU and the FG should be sensitive to the plights of students.
He called on both parties to sheathe their swords for the interest of future generation, which he said is currently bleak because of frequent strikes by lecturers.
“To me, the demands of ASUU are genuine, but their approach to the whole thing sometimes looks wrong.
“If truly an agreement is reached between it and ASUU, such an agreement should be honoured to the letter.
“They say that when two elephants fight, the ground becomes the victims; the students in this case are the victims.
“So, we are appealing to both the ASUU and the Federal Government to return to the negotiating table and find a common ground for the sake of future generation,” Fred appealed.(NAN
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State University (EBSU) branch of ASUU has joined the national body in its four-week warning strike declared Monday.
The development is contained in a statement issued in Abakaliki Friday by the union’s branch acting Chairman, Dr Ikechuku Igwenyi.
Igwenyi stated that the decision to join the warning strike was taken at the branch’s emergency congress, held on Thursday.
He stated that an overwhelming majority of the congress voted in favour of the resolution to join in the strike.
“EBSU chapter of ASUU is activating and joining the strike because ASUU is a national union that secures our welfare and protects the staff and the institutions.
“EBSU ASUU as a critical branch is affected by all the demands made by the union,’’ the statement read.
Igwenyi noted that ASUU called the strike because of failure of the Federal Government to fully implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union on Dec. 23, 2021.
The union expressed regret at government’s failure to act on the draft report of the renegotiated 2009 FG/ASUU Agreement which was submitted for finalization over nine months earlier.
The statement also frowned at the forceful payment of ASUU members’ salaries and emoluments through the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
It noted that the non-adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) developed by the universities for payment of salaries and emoluments had continued to short-change ASUU members.
“By joining the strike, there shall be no academic activities such as teaching, seminars and defence of theses to statutory meetings of the Senate, Council, Convocation or Matriculation,’’ the statement added.
It assured that academic activities would resume soon as the strike was suspended.
Igwenyi called on parents, students and well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with the union to rescue the university system from total collapse.
He contended that it would amount to act of historical irresponsibility on the part of ASUU to sit idly while the gains of the nation’s heroes past were being destroyed. NAN