The ASUU strike action has now lasted for more than 180 days. The only reason why this is the case is because of the Federal Government’s disdain for public education in Nigeria, and contempt for collective agreements.
The concerns raised by ASUU are issues relating to the need for adequate funding towards the revitalization of tertiary institution. These include the demand for 26 percent of budgetary expenditure to be allocated to the educational sector.
The lecturers have also stood their grounds against the IPPPS, which among other things contribute to illegal deductions from their pay.
Instead of addressing the issues raised and implement the long‐standing 2009 or the renegotiated Collective Agreement in line with the subsequent Memorandum of Action, government has resorted to blackmail.
They have tried to reduce the grouse of lecturers to salaries, throwing the bone of a miserly increment unilaterally arrived at, to bolster government’s blackmail.
As if that were not enough, government and its cheerleaders are invoking a “no work, no pay” spectre, which government lacks the political or moral right to raise.
The Nigerian masses, especially young people, should not be deceived by the government’s devious machinations. The problem is not so much lack of resources to fund quality public tertiary education as ASUU demands. It is about the priorities of Nigeria’s thieving ruling class.
It is imperative to note that a society that does not place premium on education is bound to be faced with the ills and hassles of illiteracy and by extension Insecurity, banditry, terrorism and all other vices.
In light of this, we call on the government to accede to the demands of ASUU forthwith. We also urge continued popular support for ASUU which has consistently been at the fore of struggle for education as a right and not a privilege and the fight to win a better society.
The people must rally round ASUU at this time in our current political epoch and call on the federal government to take education as the cornerstone for societal development which is a fundamental right largely enshrined in our constitution. Socialist Workers & Youth League thus reiterates its solidarity with ASUU in fighting for the common good of all.