ASUU Strike NANS blames FG as Issa Aremu calls for Social Dialogue

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau

As the on-going strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) three months ago continues to bite hard on students and parents, the President of
National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) President, Comrade Sunday Ashefon says the federal government is to be held responsible for the imbroglio between the two gladiators.

This is even as the Director General of Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies, Comrade Issa Aremu, has advocated for what he called a Social Dialogue to resolve the issues between ASUU and federal government.

Both spoke on Channels Television breakfast programme Sunrise Daily on Thursday with the NANS President also declaring that the students will be occupying the streets of Nigeria to drive home their grievances.

According to Ashefon who spoke on the topic:
ASUU Strike: NANS Growing Impatience; the students body has mobilised to embark on what he called “University of the Street” across the country.

Said he: “NANS is embarking on what we call “University of the Street. We will occupy the streets of Nigeria and will be conducting lectures on the streets to drive home our points.

“It is clear to the blind and loud to the deaf that instead of resolving its issues with ASUU, the federal government is only interested in politiking.

“Government and all our elected officials are no longer interested in our Education or educating of the citizens as they are only interested on how to return to power”.

Asked if miscreants will not hijack the “University of the Street” to unleash mayhem on innocent people, Comrade Ashefon said NANS has Plan B to ensure that government does not use miscreants to disrupt NANS planned protests.

Reminded that Education minister Adamu Adamu said NANS will be on the table when ASUU and government are on the negotiation table, NANS boss said nothing of such has happened.

Said he: “Neither the Education minister nor any government agencies have called us, although on the part of ASUU, the ASUU President has spoken to say the Union is working for the overall intetest of suffering Nigerian students”.

Comrade Ashefon revealed that NANS
is battle ready to go ahead with its plans to force government and ASUU to resolve their issues without further delay but insists that NANS stand with ASUU in the issues at stake including the vexed Revitalization Fund.

Meanwhile, Comrade Issa Aremu has called for a Social Dialogue, saying that Nigeria has very vibrant institutions to resolve the issues between ASUU and federal government.

According to the veteran Labour leader government should explore the
National Labour Advisory Council which was established in 1955 to handle such issues as the ASUU and federal government imbroglio.

Said he: “My sincere sympathy goes to the students especially to my Comrade junior brother and NANS President Sunday Ashefon who spoke before me. Students have been under threat.

“What we have is an industrial dispute between ASUU and federal government hence I recommend Social Dialogue to resolve the issues at stake. Nigeria has very vibrant institution to resolve the issues and we have to dialogue”.

” I am advocating for the involvement of National Labour Advisory Council established in 1955. Its a tripartite organ involving federal government, states and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Council (TUC). We have to dialogue “.

He however asked federal government to renegotiate with ASUU, saying that the last time university lecturers salaries were reviewed was in 2009.

Also, Aremu argued that the incessant strikes are worrisome, adding that when there was peace on the campuses, only one Nigerian university was rated amongst the best in the world so if we compound the issue with strikes, this will not augur well with Nigeria.

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