The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has carpeted the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for extending its strike indefinitely.
The students’ body accused the university teachers of embarking on a mission to crumple the nation’s university education system and systematically promote private universities where many of them have their children.
In a statement yesterday, NANS President Adedayo Sunday Asefon said: “We have taken the time to review the decision of ASUU to declare an indefinite strike after the ongoing six-month strike. We consider the decision not only unpatriotic, unnecessary but wicked and definitely not in the interest of our nation or the tertiary education system in Nigeria.
“Such a decision was easy for ASUU because many of their leaders do not have their wards in public universities and still keep employment at various private universities around the country. As such, they are not affected by their attempt to collapse the sector for their selfish and inconsiderate gains.
“ASUU had succeeded, initially, to masquerade their strike as an action in the interest of the tertiary education system in Nigeria and in the interest of the teeming Nigerian students.
“But events of recent weeks have made it abundantly clear that ASUU has an ulterior motive, which is to collapse university education system in Nigeria and systematically promote private universities where many of them have their children, stakes and perhaps where they receive payment for the job of collapsing public universities in Nigeria.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to investigate the leadership of ASUU with the aim of unraveling their motivation for their insistence on collapsing the public university system in Nigeria.”
But the Chairman of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) chapter of ASUU, Dr. Ray Chikogu, has said there would be no going back on the comprehensive, total and indefinite strike by the union.
In a statement yesterday in Benin, the Edo State capital, Chikogu said: “We urge the general public to disregard the laughable piece of deliberate misinformation and state unequivocally that ASUU UNIBEN is irrevocably committed to executing the current strike to its logical conclusion or until such a time that the National Executive Council (NEC) of our union deems it fit to direct otherwise.
“The branch is more than aware that the intelligentsia has a moral obligation to rescue public tertiary education from the grips of retrogressive forces in the corridors of power who insist on imposing forced labour, paying slave wages, and pricing access to quality education out of the reach of the ordinary Nigerian child.”
Also, Nasarawa State University in Keffi will soon resume academic activities, Governor Abdullahi Sule has said.
The governor said his administration had agreed to pay the salaries of the university’s workers, which he said was one of the key demands of ASUU.
Sule announced this while addressing members of the State Executive Council (Exco) at their fifth meeting at the Government House yesterday in Lafia, the state capital.
The governor said the management of the university as well as the non-teaching unions, namely the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), had agreed to resume work.
Also, Vice Chancellor of Osun State University (UniOsun) , Prof. Professor Clement Adebooye, has said the varsity would not overshoot its admission quota, despite the pressure mounted on it by admissions seekers due to the ongoing ASUU strike.
Adebooye, who addressed reporters yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, said: “There is pressure on us over the numbers of candidates applying for our school because of the ongoing ASUU strike. Despite the pressure, we will not overshoot our quota. We have that reputation that we don’t break the law. We will not go beyond our capacity.”