The president of the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), Nassir F. Isa, yesterday gave a press conference to update the members of the public on the ongoing nationwide strike action by the union.
Within the report, the president revealed that government officials during a meeting made comtemptuous statements that the association found “embarrassing and highly unacceptable.”
The report said: “At one stage in the interaction, the SGF ridiculed the Agreement, the MoU and the Needs Assessment Report, mocking the Minister of Education to “go and give them N400 billion.” At which members of the Government team scornfully laughed!
“As a union whose members constitute the intellectual cream of society and which operates on the basis of principles, we find the events of 20th August and other recent positions on the matter by Government bewildering, embarrassing and highly unacceptable.
“ASUU cannot believe that the Agreement, the MoU and the Needs Assessment Report undertaken an endorsed by the highest public officials in the land would be so blatantly ridiculed by the same people.
“At this stage and in order to counter the persistent and pernicious Government propaganda about ASUU’s responsibility in closing the Universities and its desire to have the Universities reopened, it is important that we give a blow by blow account of the issues and events that have resulted in the current situation.
“In effect, Government appears to have repudiated the 2009 Agreement, the MoU and its own Needs Assessment Report. What has emerged is that Government never intended to implement the provisions of any of these important documents; while publicly and privately encoring ASUU and the country to trust it and to believe that, for once, it was determined to address the decay and rot in the universities, its true intention all along was to take the country and ASUU for a costly ride.”
Conclusively, the report read: “ASUU members nationwide are saying this strike will not be suspended until and unless the Government respects the 2009 Agreement and makes concrete efforts to implement it in the best interest of the country.
“We therefore use this medium to, once again, thank our students and their parents for supporting this struggle to save public universities and the Nigerian nation. We equally thank other patriotic Nigerians in the media, labour and civil society organizations for identifying with ASUU to secure our collective future.
“While appreciating your understanding and support so far, we urge you to remain steadfast for us to regain the lost glory of Nigeria’s public universities once and for all.Gentlemen of the Press, you will probably agree with ASUU that the key to the development of any nation is its education.
“University education is the master key because the greatness of every country is determined by the quality of its education, especially its universities. It is only by repositioning our universities to compete globally that we can make Nigeria great again.
“The alternative is to continue in the path cleared for us by the duo of IMF and World Bank, which dictates that we surrender our country and the future of our children to continued slavery. We deserve to be free. To achieve freedom, we must struggle to free our education. And, with a revitalised university system, Nigeria shall be free! The struggle continues! Thank you.