ASUU STRIKE: CONSIDER BRIGGS COMMITTEE’s REPORT FIRST, NAPATAN TELLS BUHARI

Parents under the aegis of the National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to first take a look at the report of the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee that met with the national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, before appealing to Nigerians to prevail on the union to call off its strike.

 

The association said it is when that is done that the government would be able to know which aspect of the committee’s recommendations it can implement.

 

The National President, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, said this in a chat with Vanguard on Tuesday.

 

This is just as ASUU has described the call by the President as a sleep walk approach to governance that is highly unfortunate.

 

Both were reacting to Buhari’s call on Monday that well-meaning Nigerians should prevail on the union to call off its over four months strike.

 

Danjuma wondered when the federal government would consider the report of the Briggs Committee that was submitted to it over a month ago.

 

“My advice for the government is to first attend to the report of that committee and see what it can do about it. Let the government first make its position on the report public and known to all. It is when that is done that critical stakeholders in the sector can see how they can come in.

 

“If the President works on the report, no matter what the decision of the government is, that is what what will inform the intervention of those who want to mediate. The mediators will know what to do and what to base their actions on.

 

“For instance, if the committee says ASUU is demanding N10 and it recommends that the union be given N5 and even if the government says it only has N3 to give, then NAPTAN or any other group will know what to go and plead with ASUU for. Yes, the future of our children is critical and should not be toyed with and we are calling on all parties to find a way out of the face-off as quickly as possible,” he said.

 

ASUU, in a statement titled “President Sir: When and why enough cannot be enough,” said the strike has lingered because of inaction on the part of the government.

 

The statement was endorsed by Dr Adelaja Odukoya, the Chairman,Lagos Zone of ASUU.

 

It read in part,”It is with painful and heartfelt amusement that we received your comical statement and laughable call yesterday that “enough is enough” on the almost five-month old strike action of our union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), occasioned and forced on us by the crass insensitivity, non-chalant disposition, ineptitude and crass indifference to the fate of public university education in the country under your leadership.

 

“That all other unions in the nation’s public university system as well as unions in other tertiary educational levels in the country are also on strike for similar reasons, belied and exposed the ridiculous disposition and propaganda to paint our union black in the face of the Nigerian public who has seen through the shenanigan, deliberate, systemic and orchestrated agenda of the present government.

 

“This is not only to undermine but to comprehensively destroy public university education in unpatriotic obedience to the slavish and destructive command of the neoliberal high command to which the soul of this administration and her forbears seems to be irrevocably sold.

 

“The fact that the president unfortunately and sadly taken and embraced an attitude of mute indifference and unedifying quietude in the face of calamitous consequences a neglected education sector could foist on generations of Nigerians, including those yet unborn is a clear signpost of leadership failure.

 

Nigerian public university students remain at home while our dear president and his cronies lavish valuable time on partisan party political activities, family egoistic ceremonies and global junketing, and to have finally woken up to address the issue of the national strike in the nation public universities in a season of Eid Adha celebration – season that calls for utmost and supreme sacrifices exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim should elicits both spiritual and popular condemnation.

 

“The choice of this solemn occasion to trade blames rather than making sacrifice as the season demands appears more of gross lack of understanding of the enormity of the crisis. The usual window-dressing and buck-passing and inability to rise up to serious occasion affecting our country particularly the nation’s education sector is rather unfortunate.

 

“This is underscored by the sleep-walk disposition of the un-presidential response to an issue which has been prolonged and exacerbated due to presidential inaction.

 

Mr. President sir, for ASUU this strike action should not have lasted beyond the first week after it was declared because the issues at stake were neither new nor do they require rocket science to resolve given that there had been MOUs and MOAs as well as a duly renegotiated ASUU-FGN Agreement

 

completed way back 13th May, 2020 before your government which you and your administration neglected and refused to implement and signed.

 

 

“Our Commander –in – Chief, if only your administration has taken the sacred responsibility for education and the future of the Nigerian youth seriously, this latter day unconvincing lamentation without doing anything would have been unnecessary. Your Excellency, your position is to be on top of issues and solve national problems no matter how tough the situation instead of hopeless lamentation and sermonizing.”

 

The union said enough would not be enough unless the government does the needful.

 

Recall that the Briggs Committee was set up by the government to renegotiation the 2009 Agreement with ASUU and submitted its report to the Education Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu, over a month ago.

 

In a recent interview with our correspondent, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the government promised getting back to his union immediately it gets the report but nothing has been done since then.

 

Issues in contention include the payment of Revitalisation Fund, payment of salaries and allowances, use of University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, instead of Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, as the payment system in the universities, provision of adequate funding and facilities among others.

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