The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)-University of Calabar Branch has advised all members of the union not participate in the post Jamb-Test by the university scheduled for October 13, 17, 2009 insisting that the union (uncial) is still on strike.
A statement by the union signed by its Chairman, Dr. Chike Ekeopara dated October 2, and made available to our correspondent in Calabar “Our attention has been drawn to an advertorial in The Nation Newspaper of October 2, 2009 inviting inviting intending candidates for the Post-JAMB Test scheduled to hold from Tuesday October 13 to Saturday October 17 2009.
“We wish to inform the general public that ASUU members in the University of Calabar are still on strike and will not participate in the planned Post-JAMB test,” Ekeopara stated.
He warned that any member who participates in the test in any form at all would be treated as strike breaker insisting that all the union members should comply with the directive.
It would be recalled that the union had last week, sought the intervention of the Cross River State government including the state legislature in the on-going strike by the union over poor funding of the university system by the federal government.
The call was made during a meeting with Governor Liyel Imoke at the Governor’s office and a subsequent meeting with the leadership of the state’s legislature at the House of Assembly complex after a mass rally by members of the union around major streets of Calabar, the state’s capital.
Chairman of ASUU-UNICAL Branch, Dr. Ekeopara in his address to the governor, observed with dismay, what he called, the federal government’s insensitivity to the academic obligations of the country to the citizenry as demonstrated by the government in the about three months strike by the union over repeated calls on the government to improve its funding to the universities and education generally.
Ekeopara said the call on the Cross River State government to intervene in the matter was because of the suspicion that the Presidential aides may not have presented the ASUU is demands to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in a proper and unadulterated manner and may have misled him which was why the president did not respond to such genuine and sincere calls to improve the educational system.
To buttress ASUU’s genuine intention for the country’s university system, the union used the forum to further dispatch a direct mail to the President on its demands hoping that by the time he reads the message by himself, he would have course to address the call by ASUU for improved funding of the system.
Responding, the governor who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Efiok Cobham commended the union for conducting themselves in an orderly manner even as their demands were well-intended.
He said it was necessary for government to re-negotiate with ASUU for the sake of the poor citizens of the country and for the growth of the Nigerian human capacity.
Imoke opined that although the federal government as any employer has the right to determine what to pay its employees, there was need for mutual understanding for both parties to function effectively and so implored the duo to find reasons to meet and resolve the three months crisis.
Similarly, the Chairman, Committee on Education of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Larry Odey expressed the commitment of the House to ensuring the well being and functionality of all government’s establishments for the benefit of the citizens and therefore promised to take a position on the matter after all the members must have critically studied the ASUU’S demands.
He commended members of the union for the confidence reposed in the House to mediate in the matter with a view to ensuring stability in the polity.
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