Despite every measure already employed to get public university lecturers to return to work, ASUU still maintains its standpoint of not returning to the classroom.
According to reports gathered, the President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge said its members are not calling off the strike because the Federal Government has remained adamant towards their request.
The Federal Government had given ASUU an ultimatum of today, Monday to resume work or else face losing their jobs. And the reason for the shift which was earlier fixed on December 4, was to enable the members attend their late leader’s burial held on Saturday.
According to myschool Mike, Fagge was if the members of the union would go back to work today and if they had confirmed the N200bn the Federal Government claimed to have deposited in a special account at the Central Bank of Nigeria, he simply replied, ?No to both questions.?
ASUU had in the bulletin insisted that the government threat to sack its members would not break the union?s resolve to pursue its action to a logical conclusion.
A source privy to the meeting, said, ?No Jupiter will force us to go and teach until all the agreements are documented. The Federal Government is not sincere. If indeed the authorities have agreed, why will they be afraid to document what has been agreed upon?
?Let the vice-chancellors, who can teach, go and do so. But our members are determined not to sign any attendance register tomorrow (today). The threat does not bother us, as truth will always supercede deception, lies and any form of intimidation.?
The ASUU National Treasurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, who also said, ?Our position has not changed because we are still on strike. When we met President Goodluck Jonathan, we had a number of agreements but when the Presidency communicated to us, we noticed some gaps. We have written to the government on our observations but up till now, it has not responded.
?The only response from government representatives was the accusation against us that we are making new demands. This was after the letter we wrote to the government was exposed to the whole world.
?ASUU is not asking for anything new; what we are saying is that government should perfect the documentation binding the agreement we had with it. We know the agreement we had with the government and we will stand by it.?
He added, ?The government did not play any role in the burial of Iyayi, who died in the struggle. The Federal Government would have been more responsive instead of threatening our members with sacking. The military used this system and it did not work. Why will it work in a democratic environment? I don?t think any right thinking government will use threat to achieve peace.?
On government?s claim that it was ready to pay salaries owed the striking teachers who returned to work, Aremu said the decision was a part of the ploy not to make things work in the education sector.
? ?This government does not want things to work at all. We wrote to the government that we noticed some gaps but instead of writing us back to clear issues, it began to use threat as a weapon. I don?t think anyone who is worth the certificate he is using as a lecturer will panic because of four months? salaries. You only treat casual workers in such way and not people with intellectual endowment. ASUU members are not casual workers so the position of Okojie will not shake us.?
The Chairman of the University of Abuja chapter, Dr. Clement Chup, also described the threat as ?an empty one.?
He said, ?We are still waiting for the government to respond to our letter; until that is done, the strike continues.
?When the December 4 deadline was given, I said ?I dey laugh because I knew it would not work.? Now that they have extended it, ?I still dey laugh? because it will still not work. Because you (Federal Government) are not ready to honour an agreement and you will begin to threaten people with sacking; it doesn?t work that way.?
His Nasarawa State University, Keffi, counterpart, Dr. Theophilus Lagi, said, ?It is only the National Executive Council of the ASUU that could take the decision to suspend the strike.?
He said lecturers in the school would stay away from the classrooms since the NEC of ASUU had yet to suspend the strike.