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ASUU Strike: History, causes and lasting solution -By Festus Famuditi Gboyega

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In 2017, ASUU roasted their corns for the federal government to implement their previous agreements. The 2017 strike kicked-off on 17th of August and called-off in September of the same year.

In the process of building an healthy environment for students in the Nigerian Universities, the role of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not a deal to ignore as they directly and indirectly lay remarkable influence on the tertiary education in Nigeria. However, the trade union has, between 1999 and 2020, embarked on strike for well over 3years. These continual fights are reportedly aimed at saving the Nigerian Education from egregious ambiences that are capable of crippling the nation’s education sector and prevent it from being bad-labelled in the international podia.

Shortly after the emergency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the Executive President of the federation in 1999, ASUU embarked on a nationwide strike which lasted 5 months.

Another strike action was staged in 2001 under the breath of the Egba-born President Obasanjo with a viable excuse that 49 lecturers of the University of Ilorin were “unduly” sacked and should immediately be reinstated. The strike action lasted for 3 months.

An agreement was reached between the Federal government and ASUU to critically examine the case of the sacked lecturers in 2002 and were subsequently reinstated. However, the government failed to implement the agreement which made ASUU declare a 2-week nationwide strike. The strike kicked-off on 29th day of December, 2002.

Failure of the federal government to implement previous agreements, which included poor funding of universities made ASUU embark on another nationwide strike in 2003 which lasted for 6 months.

ASUU embarked on a 2-week nationwide strike in 2005 over the inability of the FG to meet their demands.

From a 3-day proposed warning strike in 2006, ASUU strike eventually escalated to 1 week.

In March 2007, ASUU embarked on a 3-month strike.

In 2008, ASUU took a bold step to seek justice in the court of law over the sacked lecturers of UNILORIN , and the court ruling was in their favour. But unfortunately, FG refused to dance to the tune of the judiciary and this made ASUU embark on another strike which lasted a period of 1 week.

Most of the previous agreements were vitiated by the FG. ASUU resolved to a nationwide strike in 2009 to express her grievances over what it called “act of negligence” from the side of the FG to bend to the implementation of their agreements. The 2009 nationwide strike lasted for 4 months.

In the year 2010, ASUU embarked on another strike action which lasted for 5 months. The industrial action was called-off in January 2011.

In December 2011, ASUU embarked on a 59-DAY strike in order to make FG implement the 2009 agreement.

In the heart of the year 2013, another strike was ignited on three basic reasons; The union compelled the authorities to implement the 2009 agreement, review the retirement age of Professors from 65 to 70years and to also increase the budget allocation pumped into education sector. The strike lasted for 5 months and 15 days [July 1- December 17, 2013].

In 2017, ASUU roasted their corns for the federal government to implement their previous agreements. The 2017 strike kicked-off on 17th of August and called-off in September of the same year.

On Nov. 4, 2018, ASUU jumped behind the wheels to drive its members into another nationwide strike since the FG failed to honour previous agreements and properly fund Nigerian Universities. The strike action lasted for over two months.

However, the leadership of ASUU had advised that students should engage themselves in profitable skills, stating clearly that the strike would be a long one.

On March 9, 2020, ASUU announced a two-week warning strike. This was as a result of the fracas that ensued from the government’s policy of paying the varsity workers on the IPPIS.

Students across the nation are however hopeful that a favourable agreement would be reached between the duo after series of failed meetings held.

Sequel to the incessant strike actions, local and international communities need to rise to set-in their ideas on how to ameliorate the war in the education sector.

Festus Famuditi Gboyega.
A 300l student of TASUED

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