ASUU STRIKE: PRESS RELEASE BY ASUU ZONAL COORDINATOR BAUCHI

0
41

FGN OFFICIALS UNDERMINING THE FUTURE OF NIGERIA WITH UNIVERSITIES CLOSED FOR SEVEN MONTHS
Being Text of a Press Statement by the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Bauchi Zone, on the ongoing industrial action by the Union, presented at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Jos, on Saturday, 27th August, 2022.
Gentlemen of the press,
“This nation owes a debt of gratitude to ASUU, and the strike should not be called off until the government accepts to do and does what is required. So, instead of hectoring ASUU to call off the strike, the nation should be praying for more of its kind in other sectors of the economy” (Adamu Adamu in 2013).

Read also: 7 habbits of highly focused people
Of recent, Adamu Adamu had said that whatever he wrote on ASUU, he had totally believed in it, even now that he is a minister. Ladies and Gentlemen, you may also recall that when asked to make his comments on ASUU’s submission to President Buhari on Tuesday, the 9th of January, 2020, Adamu Adamu said he totally agreed with what ASUU presented, upon which note President Buhari handed him ASUU’s document and directed himto come up with a proposal for an amicable solution.
For the same Adamu Adamu to now lead his colleagues, the other ministers, to misrepresent facts and mislead the good people of Nigeria against ASUU is rather unfortunate. It is the highest level of unpatriotic disservice a minister would do to his nation, particularly a sector like Education which is the backbone of the development of any country. If this is the way to end the ASUU strike, ASUU-Bauchi Zone is taking exception to it and assuring Adamu Adamu that he is wrong; he has rather succeeded in undermining the future of Nigerian youths and Nigeria. If it would take him six (6) months to only come up with this deceit as a solution to the strike, we then have the
1right to ask whether he really was serious with Education or stage-managing
it. It has now come to bare, that the minister had all along been deceiving everybody since 2017, as far as ASUU’s agitations in the tenure of this
government are concerned.
We want you, Gentlemen of the Press and the general public, to know that the Federal Government through Adamu Adamu did NOT approach ASUU with any reasonable and acceptable solutions to the issues in contention that led to the current strike; the miserable and insulting award of the government were appropriately and squarely rejected by the Union. So the claim of the minister that ASUU has accepted the offers from Government
was a blatant lie aimed at scuttling what the Prof Nimi Briggs’
Committee put to resolve the matter, thereby undermining the sincererity of the Committee in resolving the issues. That we gave him the
condition of payment of our withheld salaries before the strike would be called off was, also, another cynical falsehood. It is worthy to note that the same Adamu Adamu has spent most of his tenure in office shuttling between Nigeria and europe on medical tourism over his health and at the same time collecting his salary for those periods that he has been away from work. Is
that not hypocrisy unbecoming of a serving minister to turn round and accuse ASUU of not working during strike despite the research and community service for which we are currently engaged in while on strike, which are the core mandates of the terms of our engagemnet?
The Strike Action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in February this year is now in its seventh month with more than 95% of the Nigerian University Students in 49 Federal and 57 State Universities idling at home. Instead of convening meaningful and sincere meetings, engagements and contacts between ASUU Leadership and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Officials to solve the problems
that led to the strike, the FGN Officials chose to remain inactive, insensitive and indifferent in the beginning, and started to throw spanners in the wheel of progress of such concerted efforts aimed at amicable resolution of the impasse from such bodies as the Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC). Government Officials have continued to successively jettison the reports of their own Committees aimed at resolving the issues;
2Babalakin’s Committee was a failure, but conclusive reports of Prof Munzali Jubril and Prof Nimi Briggs were thrown away by these agents of the FGN.
As if that was not enough, these Government Officials headed by Adamu Adamu went ahead to insult ASUU members and continued to take the
Nigerian Public for granted by misinforming and misleading Students, Parents and the General Public. This is unfair!
At this point, let me remind you that there was a truce reached between ASUU and FGN that led to the Conditional Suspension of an ASUU strike on
the 23rd December, 2020 called the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA), which which was supposed to be fully implemented latest by
February 2021 but Government deliberately refused to act on it which led to the current Strike. The responsibility for such a collapse rests squarely on Dr. Chris Nigige who undertook, during the suspension of the 2020 strike, that he was not going to allow ASUU to embark on another strike; that he was going to religiously track the timely implementation of all the issues in the MoA. The Minister simply went to sleep and failed to manage the MoA, and worst still, has not deemed it right to accept this failure and apologise to Nigerians for such mess. In fact, he abandoned the matter and left to buy a N100m APC nomination form and at the same time launch his 2023 Presidential ambition, which he later withdrew and forfeited the 100 million Naira. The question that begs for answer here is that, was it really his hard earned money that he just abandoned carelessly like that? We are now hearing stories of termites eating up documents related to the expenditure of over 17 billion Naira in NSITF (National Insurance Trust Fund), a parastatal in the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment where Dr Ngige holds sway as minister. If the Minister of Labour and Employment (MoL&E) would abandon talks with ASUU for his Dead-on-Arrival Presidential bid, one would not expect the Minister of Education to do the worst to the Ministry of his charge; in deceit to the situation, he deliberately kept disappearing from the scenes until when the resumption of the strike was declared on the 14th February, 2022 – he reluctantly appeared to say; “where are the ASUU?

-Advertisement-

Read also: Read this book to transform your life
I have been looking for them.”
The competence of Adamu Adamu as a Minister of Education is therefore put to question, with many Nigerians asking whether this is the man they 3knew long time ago with his constructive criticisms of the poor handling of the Universities by previous Governments. Yes, he is the one and fate has been kind to him to be appointed Minister and posted to the Ministry of Education to address those same issues he has allegedly being so concerned about. But alas, we are so surprised at the bold-face and sudden twist of the Minister for declaring war on the very institutions he is suppose to develop, including the students, parents and lecturers; it is our firm belief that he
must have been threatened or shown his black book records by the Cabals-in-charge.
Some demonstrations of the lapses on the side of the Minister were clear when he unilaterally appointed and signed a letter of a substantive
appointment of the Vice Chancellor to a University, Federal University, Dutsinma, in violation of the laws of that University. The same attempt was
resisted by ASUU in UNIPORT; in an alleged violation of the TETFund Act, the Minister profiled and saw to the allged illegal appointment of the
present TETFund Executive Secretary, Mr Sonny Echono; in violation of the extant laws of all Federal Universities, Adamu Adamu allowed the implementation of IPPIS in these Universities; inability to send Presidential Visitation Panels to Universities as at when due, as provided by the law. Is it not shameful that the minister will allow ASUU to go strike only to force him to send Visitation Panels to Federal Universities as required by law to check how the Universities are administered for a Government that claims to be fighting corruption? And the issues are still counting…
The last straw in the minister’s demonstration of incompetence was clearly
shown in his Thursday 18th August, 2022 Press Briefing that came with falsehood and two important contradictions:

a) that “… all contentious issues between government and ASUU had been settled except the quest for members’ withheld salaries …” and that the government-inaugurated Renegotiation Committee was still working and would be doing everything humanly possible to conclude on the negotiations …”
The above means that the Minister’s Press Briefing was premature and insincere.
b) that “… students can take ASUU to court for wasting their time …” while equally accepting that he has been unable to act on these same ASUU
demands since 2017, setting Committees upon Committees and either disbanding them or jettisoning their reports, thereby wasting the time and resources of the country.
The above means that Adamu Adamu and the FGN are really the ones wasting students’ time and deserve to be taken to court. The worst was that
the Minister was taking Nigerians for granted by dislodging the facts and teaching the students to be irresponsible by being disrespectful to their
Lecturers. I am glad that the students replied him squarely. I agree with them that Adamu Adamu should be the one to be taken to court for his
silence and indifference since the strike commenced more than six months ago. Nigerians could see that Electricity workers only switched off for less than one hour with the same government yielding to their demands, and Aviation workers were not even allowed to commence their strike so that the flights of the political class would not be disrupted. So, Gentlemen of the Press and Fellow Nigerians, is it Education which is the backbone of
development that should be so neglected by this government, thereby plunging the country into a future doom?
ASUU, Bauchi Zone takes exception to this neglect and insists that Public Universities in Nigeria must be globally competitive with government providing the needed funds after stopping the wastages through programmes that are merely conduits for corruptly defrauding the government of its meagre resources such as incessant overseas travels,
sentimentally implemented Trader Money and a School Feeding Programme that took place even when all the schools were closed due to COVID-19
lockdown. No amount is too much for Education in any serious country, particularly tertiary Education.
The Zone also rejects the insulting and ridiculous award to ASUU members nation-wide in that take-it-or-leave-it manner and insists that FGN must sit with the Union and agree through the International Labor organization (ILO) –recognized Collective bargaining Principle. We also take exception to Adamu Adamu’s charade at the State House Press Centre aimed at insulting, ridiculing, embarrassing and humiliating the best brains in the country; in the 5history of Nigeria, no government has attempted to humiliate ASUU as this
one-not even a Military regime. We will not take it as our members in Bauchi Zone of ASUU are now more resolved and more determined in this struggle, for the betterment of the Nigerian Public University System. The government should address the core issues in the dispute instead of diverting attention to an inconsequential issue like the withheld salaries.
We have not seen anything from government that would warrant any consultations and the subsequent suspension of the current strike action by ASUU members next week as claimed by the Minister. Government is not displaying any commitment in this regard. The December 2020 MoA has not been honoured, and by implication, the 2019 MoA, the 2017 MoA, the 2013
MoU and the 2009 Agreement have not been honoured, let alone implemented. The Strike is NOT all about withheld salary payment as the
Government has attempted to reduce it to. Recent promises made by Government are yet to be respected and actualised. Government has simply
made some static offers and is not willing to shift grounds to favourably end the Strike.
The recent awards made by Government are even slippery! At this juncture, Gentlemen of the Press, the Bauchi Zone of ASUU would want to convey its appreciation to you when it called you for assistance in the conduct of some investigations to unravel some fraud in the governance of this country during a Press Conference on the 18th November, 2020 in Gombe. With your immediate responses, that outing was indeed a successful
one.

-Advertisement-
Learn More

Read also: The three pillars of wealth
As Oliver Twist, the Zone has come for more!
This time around, we request you assist us uncover the relationships (if any) or the differences (if any), between to names: Mallam Mai Kudi and Mallam
Mai Makani. Is there any collaboration between the two?
We are not saying “Ahmadu Mai Kanti.”
Between Mai Kudi and Mai Makani, one is a public officer and the other a contractor who has been consistently awarded contracts in many University
6campuses across the country. To, near perfection, provide the required alibi,
the two are operating from two different states with one fronting for the other. It appears to be a tough assignment, but we are in it, and by the time
you go in to assist, it will be clearer, by God’s grace.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, also asserted that the Federal Government had given enough funding to Education, in Trillions, both directly and indirectly through TETFUND and UBEC. Were the contractors’ selections really subjected to due processes? Was either of Mai Kudi or Mai Makani the contractors in any of the agencies mentioned? Did they execute the projects as specified without compromising the standards? The Minister should be talking about budgetary allocations to Education and
not interventions. ASUU, Bauchi Zone calls on students, parents, Civil Society Organisations
and the general public to continue to understand and join hands with ASUU
in this struggle aimed at saving the Nigerian Public University System by
insisting that Government has the resources and should commit such
resources to adequately fund Public University Education. If the immediate
past Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris alone could be
alleged to have carted away 170 billon Naira, then there is money and we
don’t know yet how much others have taken. As such, government cannot
claim that it does not have money to fund Education, but rather it is not a
priority to it.
ASUU is not unmindful of the hardship this strike has caused to all stakeholders in the system, including its members; the Union pleads that we all take it as a sacrifice aimed at salvaging the system and turning it to a globally competitive one.
It is clear that the FGN has offered nothing so far and is not willing to address the issues that provoked the current strike. Indications are just
showing that government officials are hell-bent on embarrassing and humiliating ASUU members to submission. The Union calls on its members to
continue to remain resolute and committed to this Struggle, for victory shall be on the side of Nigeria, by God’s will. The struggle is a patriotic one; it is
legitimate and worthwhile.
7“This nation owes a debt of gratitude to ASUU, and the strike should not be called off until the government accepts to do and does what is required.” (Adamu Adamu in 2013 as a patriotic Nigerian then, but ministerial appointment has now made him swallowed those words of patriotism, unethically).
The Struggle Continues! Thank you and may God bless all of us!

We do everything possible to supply quality information for readers day in, day out and we are committed to keep doing this. Your kind donation will help our continuous research efforts.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here