Sun, 21 Jul 2024

 

BREAKING: ASUU protest hits UniJos as nationwide strike looms
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Tue, 21 May 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities which has been agitating for improved funding of the education sector and better welfare for their members may have decided finally to embark on a national strike following the end of the union’s 14-day ultimatum which expires on Sunday

This was as members of the union at the University of Jos on Tuesday protested against the situation calling on the Federal Government to act quickly to avert the impending industrial action

Tuesday’s protest which started around 11 am disrupted the ongoing Second Semester examinations at UNIJOS as union members marched through the university community singing solidarity songs.

They also carried placards with different inscriptions some of which read: ‘Let ASUU members breathe,’ ‘Pay our promotion arrears,’ ‘Adequate funding of universities, Is that hard?’ ‘End ASUU strike now,’ “Sign Nimi Briggs MOA,’ ‘IPPIS is a fraud, migrate us now,’ and ‘Tinubu, release our revitalization fund,’, among others.

They were joined in the protest by the university students in solidarity

The protesters later converged at the Senate building of the university where they were received by the top management of the institution including the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tanko Ishaya; Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Professor Joash Amupitan (SAN) and the Registrar, Dr Rejoice Songden.

The university’s ASUU Vice Chairman, Prof. Kiri Jaryum who led the protest told the VC that his members had endured enough suffering and maltreatment at the hands of the Federal Government.

He said the union could no longer bear the situation if the government failed to address their demands at the end of the 14-day ultimatum earlier given to the government by the National Executive Committee of ASUU.

Jaryum who handed over a 9-point demand to the VC for onward delivery to the Federal Government said, “Our protest today at the University of Jos is in line with the 14-day ultimatum given by the National Executive Committee of ASUU and activities to be carried out by the various branches.

“As we are here, other branches within the Bauchi zone of ASUU which comprises six universities are doing the same thing.

“Our branch chairperson is away to coordinate similar protests in the zone as we are doing the same at the University of Jos and he has asked me to stand in for him.

“Our demands have been with the government for a long time and it is rather unfortunate that we are repeating the same thing because the government has been playing a deaf ear to them.”

He listed the items contained in the protest letter including the need for the government to pay them their earned academic allowances budgeted for in 2023, revitalization fund, and payment of salaries of members whose names were excluded from the IPPIS platform.

Others include the need for the government to stop the proliferation of universities, the need for the government to effect increment in their salaries which had stagnated in the past 15 years as well as the need for the government to return to the renegotiation table to sign the Nimi Briggs committee agreement among others.

The Vice Chancellor who received the 9-point protest letter thanked members of ASUU for their peaceful protest in the institution.

Tanko said as the VC, he was in support of all the demands contained in the protest letter and would add another demand to the protest letter before submitting it to the FG.

He called on the FG to increase its funding to the public universities to enable them to function and serve their objectives.

“I can assure you that we are going to submit this protest letter by ASUU to the federal government verbatim. I can tell you that all the 9 points you have listed here have affected all members of the university community in one way or the other. I can tell you that some of us here are also being owed some number of months’ salaries.

“So, we are suffering and we understand what your demands are. In forwarding this letter, I’m also going to include item number 10 because the University of Jos can no longer provide electricity anymore with the recent increment in the electricity tariff,” the VC stated.

 

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