Stakeholders in the education sector have backed the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) towards getting improved funding for the revitalization of public varsities and new salaries for the lecturers.
The Stakeholders stated this at the engagement programme organised by the Ibadan Zone of ASUU held on the University Of Ibadan Conference Centre to brief stakeholders on the reasons ASUU embarked on the current strike and ask for suggestions from the public.
In his opening speech, Ibadan Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Professor Ade Adejumo who was represented by former National Treasurer of ASUU, Professor Ademola Aremu lamented that the plan of government was for the children of the masses to continue to serve their own children who are educated abroad by deliberating under-funding public university education.
Present at the engagement was Chairman University of Ibadan ASUU, Professor Ayo Akinwole, Professor Moyo Ajao (UNILORIN), Dr Biodun Olaniran (LAUTECH), Dr Femi Abanikanda (UNIOSUN), Dr Adesola Dauda (KWASU), and Dr Dele Ashiru (UNILAG).
Taking the stakeholders through the journey of ASUU strike, Aremu noted that ASUU was fighting for the interest of children of the masses and the future of the country knowing full well that an uneducated child will become terror to the country.
He stated that Federal Government has not been faithful towards fulfilling the agreements it reached with the Union but prefer to allocate more funds for the executives and the legislative arm of government.
The former ASUU National Treasurer informed the stakeholders that ASUU’s strike is focused on funding for the revitalization of public universities as contained in the FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Understanding of 2012 & 2013 and the Memorandum of Action of 2017 and 2019; payment of arrears and mainstreaming of Earned academic allowances; renegotiation of 2009 agreement, constitution of visitation panels to universities, and remittance of withheld third-party deductions from ASUU members.
While contributing, Student Union Government President, University of Ibadan, Segun Akeju while supporting the Union on the strike for the revitalisation of universities also urged the Union to carry students along in their strikes.
He noted that there is no how the strike will not affect the students but asked that the Union ensure that the strike achieves the reasons for going on the strike.
Chairman, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Comrade Bayo Titilola Sodo who lauded the stakeholders’ engagement of ASUU, stated that ASCAB ‘is on the same page with ASUU on the need for massive increases of fund for the education sector. the decay in the sector especially in regards to infrastructure and conditions of service of all categories of workers, because so palpable due to World Bank dictations and the deliberate neglect of education and other critical social services by successive ruling class governments especially since the imposition of structural Adjustment Programme, SAP between 1984 and 1986’.
Chaplin Chapel of the Resurrection Very Reverend (Dr) Olufikayo Oyelade and Chief Imam University of Ibadan Central mosque urged the Union to continue to engage the public on the need to support their struggle saying they were more informed of the reasons for the strike than before.
They enjoined the Union not to corrupt their way as they continue to fight for repositioning public funded varsities.
They also urged government to quickly meet ASUU demands for better public education and welfare of her members in order to ensure quick reopening of universities.