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Students raise expectations as ASUU calls of strike




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Students woke up today to the news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called off its 8 months old strike following a meeting by the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on Thursday night which lasted into the early hours of Friday.

The meeting was held to deliberate on the present turn of events in the association after its state branches met over the Court of Appeal ruling last week, ordering the striking lecturers to return to the classrooms. 

The union embarked on a nationwide strike on Feb 14, after the government failed to meet up their demands, which includes funding for the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowance, poor funding of state universities, and promotion arrears.

It also said it is not in support of the IPPIS for lecturers which led to the development of its own called UTAS for the government to adopt.

The strike kept rolling until the union declared a total and indefinite strike on Monday 29th August 2022.

ASUU’s president, Emmanuel Osodeke, in the NEC meeting held on Thursday night said the decision to call off the strike followed a series of appeals by Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representative Femi Gbajabiamila.

“However, as a law-abiding Union and in deference to appeals by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and in recognition of the efforts of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and other well-meaning Nigerians, ASUU NEC resolved to suspend the strike action embarked upon on 14th February 2022.

“Consequently, all members of ASUU are hereby directed to resume all services hitherto withdrawn with effect from 12:01 on Friday, 14th October 2022,” Osodeke noted.

However, the Southwest Coordinator, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Adegboye Olatunji, while reacting to the latest development expressed fear over tertiary institutions planning to hike tuition fees. 

He noted that it is saddening that tertiary institutions are planning on increasing fees despite the hardship students have faced within the 8 months of the industrial action.

“School management should liaise with the community and landlord to assist students in reducing the house rent and also managing and averting crises that may occur between landlords and students. Students should be of good behaviour as much as possible as most lecturers might not be happy with the situation” 

Olatunji said that nothing is yet to be achieved and there’s a possibility that ASUU might embark on another industrial action in the coming months. 

Opeyemi Timothy, from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), while also reacting, urged lectures to be lenient with students.

“In their dealings with students in class, assignments, projects and in their marking scheme or guide in marking guide, lecturers should be lenient because many students will just reset their academic mental Horizon after a long break.” 

Starting lecturers soon is important, Oyerinde Barakat of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) said. She noted that her expectations are less due to the conditional suspension of the strike.

Ifelaja Oyinkansola, also from FUNAAB urged the management and other stakeholders to ensure students are not being extorted.

“Now that the strike has been called off we know the very first expectation is our first-semester result. Then, our  management should try as much as possible to help with the issue of transportation for those living outside the school cause those drivers are ready to drain us” she said

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