AS you will recall, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) painfully declared an indefinite strike action on the 22nd June, 2009 following the refusal of government to sign the Agreement it willingly, through the process of Collective Bargaining, entered into with the Union after two and half years of negotiations.
Ever since the strike action commenced our branches have remained resolute on the action to get government to return to the negotiating table, conclude the process and sign the agreement. Similarly, many organizations and well meaning Nigerians had intervened in one way or the other to bring the matter to an end by appealing to Government to return to the negotiating table and sign the Agreement with ASUU. Within the last two weeks, a number of major developments occurred. First, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Alhaji Umar Musa YarAdua intervened through the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and NLC President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar. Second, government made commitment to conclude and sign the agreement centrally through the process of Collective Bargaining within one week.
In deference to Mr. Presidents intervention, the Union resolved to suspend the strike for two weeks with effect from Friday, 9 October, 2009 to enable a cordial atmosphere for the peaceful conclusion of negotiation to ensue. The Union expects that this gesture would accelerate the process of returning the Nigerian University System to normal academic activities and calendar.
ASUU calls on Government to, as matter of urgency conclude agreements with other Unions in the University System so that our Universities would be returned to proper functioning. Government must avoid any action and situation that are capable of destroying the existing harmony among the Unions on the campuses.
The Union acknowledges and appreciates with gratitude the efforts of Nigerian Students, The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Labour Movements, including the Trade Union Congress, Civil Society Organizations, especially Labour Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), the Education Rights Campaign and various Students Organizations, House of Representatives, Media Organizations and millions of Nigerians whose tremendous and patriotic solidarity provided the bulwark of support in this struggle to reposition our Universities as centres of excellence and for development of education in Nigeria.
We assure our students and the Nigerian people that the struggle for the education system will continue, collectively with patriotic forces, until we achieve the desired goal €“ a country of educated citizens struggling to overcome economic and political backwardness and striving to survive in the 21st Century.
PROF. UKACHUKWU AWUZIE, FNIA
For and on Behalf of NEC