By Babajide Okeowo
Academic activities in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions may soon be grounded as the Imo State University Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has called on the Federal Government to expedite action in signing and implementing the renegotiated 2009 ASUU/Federal Government agreement or face a total and indefinite strike action in the coming days.
This development was announced by the Chairperson of the union, Augustine Ejiogu while addressing a press conference at the Imo State University premises in Owerri the state capital. He noted that the union will no longer tolerate MOUs, MOAs or agreements until the existing ones are fully implemented.
According to him, the failure of the Federal Government to fully implement the agreement has led to a series of strikes.
Ejiogu, therefore, implored parents, students and the masses to join hands with ASUU in the struggle to rescue public universities.
ASUU and the Federal Government have been at loggerheads over welfare issues of members and the condition of universities across the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on February 1 said that the Federal Government will honour promises made to the union to prevent disruptive strikes, encourage uninterrupted academic programmes and improve funding of educational institutions.
The President also commended the leadership of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) for intervening in the year-long strike by ASUU and holding consultations with the parties, saying no society which wishes itself well neglects its educational system and all its component parts.
He urged the council to tell ASUU that his administration regards them and the service they provide to the nation very highly.
But following unmet needs, the association on Monday began a nationwide mobilisation of its members to update them on the discussions between the union and the Federal Government, before deciding its next line of action.