Government’s deadline for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ends today, some lecturers of University of Lagos, have agreed to resume work today, five months after the strike.
One of the lecturers, Dr Micheal Ogbeide, in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, said some of them have decided to resume against the union’s position. He said, “I, alongside other lecturers, who are ready to resume work will go back to work as directed by the government, who owns the school.”
Nigerian Tribune, gathered that the lecturers agreed to resume work, whether ASUU called off the strike or not, while some of them agreed out of fear of losing their jobs as threatened by government and/or exhaustion from the longevity of the five month-old-strike.
A law student at the Lagos State University (LASU), who pleaded anonymity, stated that as far as he knew, no student of the school had been prompted to resume school today.
In the light of this, activities on the UNILAG and the Lagos State University (LASU)campuses, have shown no indications for resumption, as, in various interviews with the Nigerian Tribune, students were yet to be alerted by the school authorities nor their lecturers to resume school today.
ASUU reiterated its stand not to call off the strike, on the basis that the union has not been alerted to the actual payment of the N200 billion government claimed to have paid into an account at the CBN for the union.
The refusal of government to sign a letter, that none of its members would be victimised when the union eventually ends the strike, as well as a payment of the five-months salary government owed the lecturers, as stated by the chairman, ASUU Unilag, Dr Karo Ogbinaka, last week.
Also, in line with the decision of the Governing Council of the University of Ibadan, which was predicated on the directives of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors (CPC) of Federal Universities and the National Universities Commission, the institution will re-open on January 4, 2014 for full academic and allied activities.
In a University of Ibadan Official Bulletin signed by the institution’s Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mr Olujimi Olukoya, council explained that the re-opening became imperative in view of the consideration of all matters relating to the on-going ASUU strike, at its recent meeting.
According to the release, “consequent upon the directives of the CPC which directed the Vice-Chancellors to re-open the universities for academic and allied activities to commence, Management on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, directed the Deans and Directors to open resumption register for academic staff willing to resume work to sign, on or before 04 December, 2013.
Council, the bulletin stressed, “at its extra ordinary meeting held on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 deliberated on all the actions taken and ratified by the Committee of Provost, Deans and Directors (COPD) and ratified them”, adding that “Senate at its Special Meeting held on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 considered the revised academic calendar for the remaining part of the second semester of 2012/2013 session proposed by the Committee of Provost, Deans and Directors and approved.
Consequently, students are expected to arrive the university campus from Saturday, January 4 to Sunday, 05 January, 2014.
Examination will start on Monday, March 31 and end on April 11, while the three weeks for the processing of examination results in Departments and Faculties will start on April 14, 2014.
The revised calendar further shows that the university’s Senate meeting for the consideration of final year result is Monday, Monday, 12 May, 2014 while the Senate meeting for the consideration of non-final year results and end of session is Monday, June 2, 2014.
Meanwhile, an educationist and executive director of Abuja-based Doveland International School, Tina Ulumma Chukwu, has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government to return to negotiation table so as to reach an amicable agreement over the lingering strike action embarked upon by the union.
ASUU strike which commenced in July has lasted for about five months with the government threatening the university lecturers with sack if they fail to resume classes today, Monday.
But speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, at the weekend, Mrs. Chukwu, said there was need for the government and ASUU to get back to a point where they can agree on the way forward since it was the students that had borne the brunt of the closure of universities for months now.
Speaking during cultural day of Doveland International School, the educationist noted that the fact that the students had overstayed at home did not say good of the education system of the country.
Also, issuing threat and deadline to lecturers to resume work is not the best way to resolving the lingering ASUU strike, a member of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, has stated.
Senator Bagudu, who spoke with journalists during the burial ceremony of former ASUU President, Professor Festus Iyayi, at the weekend in Ugbegun, Edo State, said the deadline issued university lecturers to resume work was not the best way out of the logjam.
“I condemn all provocative statements from whosoever. We are all Nigerians, ASUU members are Nigerians, who are committed to the development of the Nigerian state. We have interacted with them and they are committed to the development of the education sector along with others who are also committed to the sector,”
He explained that the Senate Committee on Education has been at the forefront in the last five months in the negotiation between ASUU and the Federal Government, adding that the Senate has always express its belief that every Nigerians is a stakeholder in the education sector.
He recalled that the Senate in a motion on the floor of the House, addressed the issue and called for a show of maturity and statesmanship in dealing with it.
However, a leading human rights group in Nigeria, identified Centre for Social Justice and Equity of Nigeria (CESJEN) has urged the leadership and members of the Academic Staff Union of the universities not to succumb to the sack threat and intimidation of the Federal Government on the ongoing strike action embarked upon by the union for non-implementation of the 2009 agreement between the government and striking lecturers.
The group also condoled with the union over the recent death of its former President, Professor Festus Iyayi, in a ghastly motor accident along Lokoja-Abuja Road on his way to Kano for the extended national Executive Council(NEC) meeting of the union on how to resolve the current industrial dispute.
In a statement issued and signed by the group’s Executive Director, Kamorudeen Adekunle Adeoti, which was made available to newsmen in Osogbo, on Sunday, the group argued that the threat statement was a mere political statement from President Goodluck Jonathan-led government that could not hold water, but a ploy to discredit the union before the public.
Adeoti declared that the government cannot force the members back to the classroom until their demands were met, stressing that threat of mass sack would not bring lasting solution to the imbroglio.
According to him, “The Federal Government’s ultimatum to the universities’ teachers is a ploy by the government to portray the members of the academic union as irresponsible, retrogressive and bad element but to us, the deadline threat for the striking lecturers to resume was laughable and retrogressive in nature.
“Since the inception of ASUU in the nation’s ivory tower, it has been on democratic struggle for collective bargaining in the interest of the general public. The threat is the handiwork of political academic jobbers in the cabinet of President Jonathan that are feeding fat in the ongoing imbroglio between the Academic Union and the Federal Government,” Adeoti remarked

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