By Olamilekan Aremu
Earlier this week, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) declared Monday, February 9th 2022 lecture-free day in all universities across the nation. The aim of this declaration was to mobilize and sensitize ASUU members, students and the general public to an impending strike action. This was due to the delay of the federal government’s response to implementing the renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement.
According to ASUU, this agreement also seeks to introduce a salary structure for its members. As it stands, National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union are currently in talks, so as to make a decision. The meeting which began earlier today, Saturday February 12th 2022 at J.F Ade Ajayi auditorium, University of Lagos is scheduled to be a two-day meeting lasting till Sunday, February 13th 2022.
Since reaching an agreement with the Federal Government in 2009, ASUU has made it known that the FG has failed in fulfilling some of the agreements. Hence, the need for its NEC meeting to make a decision on the impending strike action
Also, noteworthy is the fact that the union had previously embarked on multiple strike actions since its formation in 1978, for at least fifteen (15) times between the year 1999 and 2020.
These strike actions usually arise due to unmet demands and unfulfilled promises. This has forced many students across the country to air their opinions on various social media platforms.
A student D, on the grounds of supposed anonymity, opined that: “The union should seek a suitable means of penetrating the FG asides the impending strike, so as to compulsorily get her demands met.”
Another student T, after seeing the different ASUU buses gaining entry into UNILAG, lamented on his WhatsApp platform: “ASUU general meeting… back to the trenches.”
Students have therefore expressed their fears, and while many students hope the strike action should or should not occur, some have remained indifferent.
This now seems to resemble the fiction of contest between the Lion and the Elephant, with the other animals watching to see who would emerge victorious.
Would Federal Government give a positive swift response while ASUU keeps having its meeting? Would ASUU come to a different conclusion asides the strike? Is the strike inevitable? No one knows, until the meeting is concluded.
Till then, A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues).