Friday 29 November 2013


 NLC, TUC and ASUU Must Begin Immediate Mobilisations for Mass Protests and Demonstrations 


The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) considers the threat by the Federal Government to sack striking academic staff of public universities unless they resume duties on or before December 4 as the height of President Jonathan presidency's creeping dictatorship.

This outrageous and provocative order by a supposedly elected government to University lecturers to resume work regardless of whether or not their demands have been met is reminiscent of the dark days of military despotism. Above all it demonstrates the regime's contempt and absolute disregard for the rights and interests of the working people of this country. No doubt, to implement this satanic threat the Federal Government will have to employ ruthless methods consisting of arrest and detention of ASUU leaders, mass sack of its members, proscription of the union itself and drafting of the police and the army to occupy University campuses ostensibly to maintain law and order!

Here we must quickly point out that it is not ASUU but actually the Federal Government and its obstinate refusal to invest in revitalising our decrepit public University system that is sabotaging the education sector and keeping students perpetually at home.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, while announcing this devilish threat said the Federal Government has met all its commitments and obligations with respect to the FGN/ASUU 2009 agreement. It must be that the ruling elite somehow believes that Nigerian people suffer from collective amnesia, otherwise how could a whole Minister of the Federal Republic utter such a blatant lie?

Everybody knows the current strike was caused by Federal Government refusal to honour an agreement on University funding and academic staff welfare signed with ASUU since 2009. Since this strike started four months ago, the Federal Government has rather consistently and under different ruse been presenting proposals that border on unilaterally renegotiating the agreement. Everyone knows that despite the consistent insincerity of the Federal Government and insults from Finance Minister Okonjo Iweala, Senate President David Mark and Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, ASUU has had to shift some ground on several occasions since the strike started in order to accommodate the Federal Government. Everyone knows that at the 13-hour marathon meeting by President Jonathan and ASUU executives and NLC and TUC representatives, the government stuck to its refusal to honour the 2009 agreement and instead presented proposals which watered-down the basic ingredients of the 2009 agreement but which ASUU graciously agreed to present to their members for consideration. Everyone knows that a decision on the President proposals would have been made by ASUU weeks before now had an unfortunate but highly-suspicious accident involving the convoy of Kogi State Governor Idris Wada not claimed the life of its former president Prof. Festus Iyayi while travelling for ASUU's NEC meeting.

Above all everyone knows that the so-called new demands which Nyesom Wike claimed ASUU is making are in reality not new demands but simple request that the Federal Government begins to implement its proposals so that University lecturers can be rest assured that this is not another ruse to make ASUU suspend its strike while government would again fail to honour its promise. President Jonathan proposed at the November 4 meeting to give N200 billion for 2012 and 2013 revitalisation of public universties. This is almost December and not a kobo has been released by the Federal Government. All ASUU is asking is for the President to demonstrate his alleged sincerity. Howeve the Federal Government's violent reaction to this simple request of ASUU only goes to confirm our fear in the ERC that the government right from beginning had no intention to honour either the 2009 agreement not any agreement at all that would mean spending to revitalise our collapsing public Universities just a fraction of the billions being daily looted by Nigeria's capitalist ruling elite and imperialist multinational companies.

We support ASUU's demand that none of its members be victimised for engaging in the strike. We also demand that the salaries and allowances of all academic staff withheld under the undemocratic "No Work, No Pay" rule during the course of the strike be paid in full.

Before now the ERC had warned of the creeping militarisation of the country under President Jonathan through the use of undemocratic polices and laws and more than once open use of armed police and the army to undermine the democratic rights of workers and ordinary Nigerians. We had earlier called on the labour movement to intervene with protests and demonstrations to halt the continued descent to civilian dictatorship. Already the government has demonstrated its intolerance of the democratic rights of lecturers with brutal clampdown of the protest actions of ASUU members at a number of universities a few weeks ago. Now as it appears, the government wants to intensify the attacks on the striking university lecturers. Should this be allowed to happen, sooner than later the entire workers, students, youth and poor masses of this country would be similarly attacked by the government. This is why it is important for the labour movement to act now.

We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and civil society organisations to give concrete solidarity to ASUU by immediately commencing mobilisations for rallies, mass protests and demonstrations all over the country in order to clearly demonstrate to the government that it would have the entire working class to contend with if it decides to go on with its threat to victimise striking University lecturers for simply fighting for the revitalisation of the public university system.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto                                                        Michael Ogundele                             
National Coordinator                                                         National Secretary                            
07033697259                                                                    07066249160


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

ASUU should go back to the classroom. student are tired of staying at home.

Adeyeye Bola said...

Well, we in the pro-ERC believe ASUU's objective is highly politicized and does not stand nor serve their initial purpose and course. One could also deduce with ease that, the body named ASUU has not only lost all manners of public sympathy, even from its own members, but also stray off its course! As I post here, the house called ASUU is in peril and ready to disintegrate at any time. Their last meeting resolved and fostered four demand for it end long strike, three of which were disclosed and one, undisclosed! Members who attended the meeting said they had three agreement, where did the forth one came from? Its leadership? Or aggrieved party? Just taking a wide guess...Why must it meetings agreement be hidden from it members? I, with all honesty smell some play? Before now, I've asked and refused answers on why was there was even a strike in the first place? What has this strike achieved?(Dialogue with the president)! Could there have been same dialogue without a strike? There is a pathology of play at play somewhere definitely. President GEJ like the provabial hen has been pushed to the brick and ready to fight! "Resume or loose your job"- GEJ! I'm ready to take and combine two of my lecturers job and be paid for one(first payment after 3month self)....loling at those sickos lecturers!
Aremo has landed!

Adeyeye Bola said...

@Matt Ilo wrote…
“It is an insult to all Nigerians home and abroad that the President of our country is perceived a liar and must be forced by a union in the country he presides over to sign a document before they do what they mutually agreed on.

The whole world is watching. If ASUU is on a mission to convince the whole world not to respect a promise from our president, it means we as ordinary citizens do not have opportunity anywhere in the world. Those in ASUU are not illiterates. They understand what is called 'presidential policy statement'.

When a president makes a statement about a policy, that statement is called policy statement and it is binding on parties involved. It starts taking effect almost immediately. A president is held accountable for official promises during the course of his duties.

For ASUU to ask for signature of the president is an insult on Nigeria and a clear indictment on the man holding that position. If he signs that document, he accepts he is not worth a president. When you have veto power as a president, signatures are useless save you are dealing with another president of a country.

What if he signs now and cancels the agreement next week, would they take him to court for breach of contract? You hold a president accountable for all his promises on trust and not by compelling him to append signatures under your control”.

@Positively Nigerian added…

To further insult the President they said CBN Governor must sign, Attorney General must sign, Parastatals must sign....all the Presidents subordinates must sign. President is too small for them. What an insult!!!!!! ASUU have overstepped their bounds truly.

@Aremo added
GOD bless you oooo @positive nigerian! I'll copy this and reproduce it on my facebook wall for those who don't go beyond walls and updates! NoBODY insults the office of the president openly in any country with upright and thoughtful citizens. The best he gets are political critics. @Obama with Obama care and several anti-critics policy only get critics rants. @Mccain or @Hilaryclinton won't wake up and call him clueless. That can put them out of politic for life.