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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

ASUU strike: NLC, ASUU, others protest

…We’re also affected -ODSG

By Adekola Afolabi,
Victor Akinkuolie &
Michael Ofulue

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Vehicular and commercial activities were disrupted yesterday during the nationwide protest declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in solidarity with Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, held in Akure, the Ondo state capital.

The Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Sunday Adeleye led hundreds of workers, ASUU leadership and other affiliated unions including SSANU, NASU, NAAT, SSANIP in the protest.

The protest, which ends tomorrow in Abuja, is aimed at seeking an end to the lingering ASUU strike which has crippled university education across the country.

The protesters wore branded shirts and converged on Cenotaph, Alagbaka Akure as early as 7:30 where they took off to some popular locations within the state capital.

They chanted solidarity songs as they marched through the popular Oba Adesida road, carrying various placards and banners with different inscriptions such as “Enough is enough”; “end ASUU strike now” among others.

Addressing the gathering at the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka Akure, the NLC Chairman, Comrade Sunday Adeleye lamented the prolonged ASUU strike which he noted had paralyzed university education in Nigeria, calling on the Federal Government to find solution to it so that students could return to classrooms.

He blamed the lingering ASUU strike on the Nigerian politicians who prefer to send their children to universities abroad and destroy the university system in Nigeria.

According to him, the peaceful protest is to fight for the future of their children, even as the labour leader said NLC would not relent in advocating good governance which would secure the future of Nigerians specially workers and students.

Adeleye described the protest as purely Nigeria workers and Nigeria universities issue, just as he called on Nigeria Governors’ Forum to urgently intervene in the matter in the interest of the future generation of the country.

Chairman of ASUU, FUTA chapter, Prof. Peter Awopetu, explained that they were tired of sleeping, watching their children staying at home, adding that enough is enough and the children must go back to school.

Addressing the labour leaders, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said the state has also negatively been affected by the prolonged ASUU strike.

The Governor was represented by the state Head of Service, Pastor John Adeyemo and the Special Adviser on Union Matters and Special Duties, Mr Dare Aragbaiye.

Adeyemo said the prolonged ASUU strike has adversely affected everybody including the state and prayed that the matter would be amicably resolved as soon as possible so that students can return to classrooms.

On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters and Special Duties, Mr Dare Aragbaiye, explained that the prolonged ASUU strike does no one any good, calling on the federal government to return to the negotiation table with ASUU in the interest of the future generation.

He said the way Nigeria is being run cannot make things work, even as he expressed hope that God will intervene and make things work for the benefit of all.

Report from Ekiti and Osun said organized labour in the States yesterday joined their counterparts across the country to demand what ot called speedy resolution of the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) impasse which has grounded university education in the country in the last five months.

 The workers under the auspices of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) comprises of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) Trade Union Congress (TUC) among others.

 The workers as early as 7:am trooped out in their large numbers in the streets of Ado-Ekiti and Osogbo, the state capitals demanding that the Federal Government resolved the issues with the lecturers and other university workers in the interest of the students who are missing out in their educational career.

 Speaking during the protest, the NLC Chairman in the State, Kolapo Olatunde who led the protesters lamented what he termed as the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government in meeting the demands of the striking lecturers.

Speaking at the State House of Assembly, Osun State NLC Chiarman, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, said there was the need for immediate reopening of the universities.

Represented by his Vice, Comrade Gbadebo Awotayo, Adekomi expressed worry over the prolonged strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and its implications on the future of the Nigerian youths.

Responding, the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Timothy Owoeye said it was obvious that the accumulated strikes have contributed to the present situation in Nigeria. He promised to communicate the requests of the Labour unions to the appropriate quarters.

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