ASUU_STRIKE: Be Focused On Your Main Demands, Don't Be Deceived By FG – Lecturer Tells ASUU

ASUU_STRIKE: Be Focused On Your Main Demands, Don't Be Deceived By FG – Lecturer Tells ASUU

Andrew Erakhrumen, a lecturer from the University of Benin has written, urging the Academic Staff Unions of Universities not to relent in their struggle until FG fulfils its core demands.

He partly wrote; 

“What has been the response of the federal government to the ongoing strike action through its agents superintending over the relevant ministries? It is not a secret that instead of being humble in ignorance and aim at collaborative confrontation of the challenges highlighted by ASUU in public universities, what the government and its agents have only been engaging in (as usual) are strategies anchored on false propaganda and attacks – on ASUU and its members – that clearly show their Mephistophelian disdain for academics in the Nigerian university system. Visibly, Nigeria’s public universities are under attack! Unfortunately, these attackers are those claiming to have passed through these universities!

Worldwide, universities are universal entities! They have their uniqueness that differentiates them from the core civil service – everywhere! Lecturers in public universities are not working for government but the good people of the country! This obvious fact is not alien to Nigerian governments even as they are still fighting tooth and nail to localise public universities and further pauperise lecturers therein!” 

“...This is as important as other reasons for ASUU’s insistence on better funding for public universities’ revitalisation. Experience has shown that when it concerns public education, the government always wants the people to believe that funding is not available because the government is broke! What an embarrassing lie?

After puncturing this lie, with facts and figures, governments reluctantly engage in their seemingly ‘time-tested’ strategy of tokenism by giving out peanuts without dealing with the identified major challenges. The federal government has gone into this mode again by suddenly remembering that arrears of minimum wage consequential adjustment (effective from April 18, 2019) has not been paid to workers in federal university. We are reminding the government that this is not among the reasons for the current ASUU struggle. We all know what led to the current strike; let us tackle it and avoid any pretentiousness.

This deception, by governments, of giving the impression that they care about the welfare of workers is what informed our opinion that “…..ASUU struggles in the last ten years, or so, have always been deliberately reduced – by governments and their ‘megaphones’ – to agitations for the peanut known as EAA [earned academic allowance] and lecturers appear to be falling, always, for this scam! The EAA is what governments and their agents do hype, loudly, during industrial disputes and lecturers seem unable or are reluctant to shoot this propaganda down! Enemies of public universities have always been deriding ASUU’s struggles using well-nourished propaganda efficiently tied to this EAA…..”

This is what the government is aiming at by the recent payment of the said arrears to some of the entitled workers! They wrongly perceive ASUU’s strike action as the problem rather than a symptom of (a) problem(s) requiring solution(s)! What government is aiming at is a suspension of this strike so that it can go to sleep again! Then, in future, the cycle of strikes will be reactivated for the public to chastise ASUU and its members. Members of ASUU should be cautious, avoid this ‘booby trap’ and focus keenly on their main demands.” Erakhrumen wrote to the Nation Newspaper.


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