– At least six universities have pulled out, since the ASUU commenced its nationwide strike on November 5, 2018
– ASUU president Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said the institutions that pulled out would regret their actions in the future
– He also said that 90 per cent of the union’s members were still in support of the strike, so it was not bothered about chapters that pulled out
The president of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi has reacted to at least six universities who have pulled out of its nationwide strike and opened their doors to students.
According to The Punch, Ogunyemi, said the institutions that pulled out of the strike due to pressure from their vice-chancellors, or governing councils, would regret their actions in the future.
He said: “Those universities perceived as pulling out are certainly not against what we are asking for. Our members are in institutions like the Obafemi Awolowo University, which decided to work against us and deliberately sabotaged our efforts to reposition the universities.
“Those who said they do not agree with us are not against the funds for revitalisation that we are demanding. They are not against academic allowances or the payments of shortfalls that we ask for. They are not against fixing our universities.
“A lot of factors have to be considered when we talk about some universities pulling out. It is not that they actually mean to do so. Some intervening forces or variables may be at work. There are cases where vice-chancellors are overzealous, although they will be the greatest beneficiaries of what we are asking for.”
According to him, some institutions were compelled by their governing councils to resume academic activities while in other situations, some governors or vice-chancellors deliberately created problems for the union.
“Those vice-chancellors usually end up regretting their activities, but that does not stop us from resorting to our in-house procedure in dealing with chapters that pull out of national strikes. They will all be subjected to our in-house procedures,” he added.
Ogunyemi also said that 90 per cent of the union’s members were still in support of the strike and they were not bothered about chapters that pulled out.
“Over 90 per cent of our members are still together and that is good enough for us because what we are doing now is a movement and those who fail to participate will regret their actions. They know that when the federal government releases funds for revitalisation, all public universities will be covered. The conscience of those who refused to participate in the strike will continue to pr*ck them. Those who sabotaged us will have a moral burden and that is what we have always told them.
“If you go to state universities, many of the new projects you will see are technically being funded with capital funds from grants coming from NEEDs assessment and TETFund. If such universities are being forced to pull out, you will know that it is always against the wish of our members. We are not bothered,” he said.
Senator Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, told newsmen after a closed door reconciliatory meeting with leaders of ASUU on Monday, January 21, in Abuja, that most of the issues with the union have been resolved.
“Today we have agreed to fund revitalisation. Government has released about N163 billion from TETFund account to universities,” the minister said.