[The Injustice Blog] This ASUU strike is another reason why Buhari must resume

The industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU ) on August 14, 2017, is another reason President Buhari must either resume, just as #OurMumuDonDo protesters demand.

Let’s go back history lane.

The non-commitment of the federal government to education did not start today, as it has been the case with several governments.

On Thursday, December 14, 2006, the then minister of education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, on behalf of the Obasanjo-led Federal Government inaugurated the FGN/ASUU renegotiation committee. The FGN team was led by late Dr Gamaliel Onosode, while the ASUU team was led by the then President of ASUU, Dr Abdullah sule-Kano. The single Term of Reference of the Committee was to re-negotiate the 2001 Agreement and enter into a workable Agreement.

The Committee agreed that the essence of the Re-negotiation was:

(i) To reverse the decay in the University System, in order to reposition it for greater responsibilities in national development;

(ii) To reverse the brain drain, not only by enhancing the remuneration of academic staff but also by disengaging them from the encumbrances of a unified civil service wage structure;

(iii) To restore Nigerian Universities, through immediate, massive and sustained financial intervention; and,

(iv) To ensure genuine university autonomy. The committee went back and forth until an agreement was reached with the federal government in January  2009 when Dr Goodluck Jonathan was the president as Obasanjo couldn’t complete the process.

Despite the change of power, the insincerity on the part of government continued and ASUU was going on industrial action every session not until December 11, 2013, after the prolonged five months strike embarked by ASUU that the federal government signed an MOU with the Association. But the Jonathan government only fulfilled some part of the agreement.

Then came the APC government that made things worse.

Instead of the Buhari-led FG to continue where Jonathan stopped, they rather set up another committee (another delay tactics) headed by Dr Wale Babalakin on January 7, 2017, to renegotiate the 2009 agreement that had been agreed upon by FG and ASUU in 2013.

As expected, ASUU rejected the committee and today we are in another deadlock, occasioned by the action of the APC-led government and, that’s why we need the president to come and solve the present quagmire.

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