by ‘Jola Sotubo
The crumbling resolve within the ranks of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been evidenced by the resumption of academic activities in three more schools in the country.
Seven academic institutions had previously withdrawn from the strike with the reported ultimatum from the Federal Government leading to the resumption of activities in the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), the University of Jos in Plateau and the Federal University of Technology Owerri in Imo.
The academic body has however insisted that it would continue the strike until its demands were met and it also urged its members not to give in to the Federal Government’s tactics
The government had, through the acting minister of education, Nyesom Wike, ordered universities to reopen and threatened to sack any lecturer that failed to report to work.
LEADERSHIP checks showed that the authorities of the University of Jos have directed lecturers to resume work immediately. The university’s registrar, Jilli Dandam, issued a statement, which reads in part: “The Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council on behalf of the Governing Council has directed that all academic staff of the University of Jos should return to their various departments, units and commence work immediately. Every head of department should publish lecture time-table for all academic programmes immediately.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that students and lecturers of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) on Monday returned to school following a directive by the school authorities.
The NAN correspondent who monitored the situation at the Enugu and Agbani campuses of the university reported that the students were in their various departments exchanging pleasantries and checking the notice boards while the lecturers held a meeting with the governing council of the university at the Agbani campus.
Similarly, when our correspondent visited the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, the university had issued a directive for lecturers and students to return to classes.
The directive was contained in a press statement issued to journalists yesterday and signed by the registrar and secretary to the council of the school, Orje Ishghnor. According to the statement, the school had called off the strike based on the directive of the federal government.
Meanwhile the FUTO chapter of ASUU told the students to disregard the resumption notice by the school management, stating that its members would not go back to the class until their agreement between the federal government is met. This was contained in a communiqué issued to journalists and signed by the state chairman, Dr Ikenna Nwachukwu, and secretary, Dr F.M. Dike, yesterday in Owerri.
Also, lecturers of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and Osun State University have refused to report at their duty posts despite the FG’s directive that they should go back to work.
The chairman of the OAU chapter of ASUU, Professor Akinola Adegbola, told our correspondent at Ile-Ife that the threat by the federal government to sack lecturers who refused to resume for work was not new.
According to him, such threat was experienced during the regime of the late General Sani Abacha and the resultant effect is still fresh in the mind of Nigerians.