ASUU-"We’ll Rather Die Than Beg The Federal Government."
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday, gave fresh conditions that would make it go back to negotiate with the Federal Government.
Speaking with newsmen in Ibadan after a meeting with members of ASUU,its President, Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie, stated that the striking university lecturers would rather die than beg the Federal Government to accede to its demands for better welfare package and improvement in the funding of the nation’s universities.
His words: “It is better to die fighting on our two feet instead of crawling on our knees. It is true this government has instrument of coercion but we know that truth will always prevail. Our current, agitation is beyond upward review of salaries. What we are saying is that the standard of education in our universities should be improved to the extent that our students graduating from the universities are exposed to the most current and better infrastructural materials, which will make them best of its kind in the world.
“Nigeria has the resources to improve our universities. What we lack is the political will. The current struggle is not ASUU struggle alone but the battle for all of us, Nigerians, to have the best of education for our children. We will succeed in this struggle if the people give us their supports,” wuzie stated.
According to him, “there is no way a country can develop without good education. Boko Haram crisis was as a result of lack of education. For we, at ASUU, what we are saying is that Nigeria should be able to create an environment where every child will have access to the best of education at university level, no matter the status or financial standing of his parents.”
He debunked insinuations that the union pulled out of the negotiation with the Federal Government team, saying it was the Federal Government team that actually pulled out.
His words: “By July 10, 2009, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode wrote a letter to ASUU saying that after reaching the agreement, he had finished his own assignment and that what was left now was for the individual university governing council to negotiate with its staff union. For him to come again to negotiate with us, he must get the mandate from his principal, saying that they are now ready to abide by the principle of collective bargaining and that he will sign an agreement at the end of it.
“In order not to waste our time because we went to meet the vice-president who said the government team must be present when negotiating all contentious issues for negotiation, we expect that they must produce the contentious issues so that we know what we are going to negotiate on when we get there.
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