Students Beg Jonathan To End ASUP Strike


Students of tertiary institutions in the country have appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to end the lingering nationwide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Tuesday, the students said time had come for the president to personally wade into the dispute and bring the strike to an end.

According to them, the seven-month-old nationwide strike had caused serious academic setback to polytechnic education.

One of the students, Mr Ogochukwu Oko of the Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Uwana Afikpo in Ebonyi, described the indefinite strike as “unfortunate’’ and appealed to the president to act fast to save polytechnic education.

“The strike is almost seven months old and the government has not come up with any concrete position to resolve the industrial impasse.

“What is happening has created an academic hemorrhage which is detrimental for the nation’s technological development.

“I think this is about time for our dear president to intervene and save the nation from this embarrassing situation,” he said.

Miss Cynthia Uzo of the accountancy department in the same school lamented the loss of one academic year and appealed for actions to end the protracted strike.

According to Uzo, it is rather unfortunate that the government is paying lip service to polytechnic education in the country.

“The issues that our lecturers are demanding for are very critical to functional, effective and qualitative running of polytechnics.

“Since a series of meetings between the union and the government often ended in deadlock, it is wise for our president to personally intervene in the crisis,’’ she said.

She maintained that the quest for industrial and technological advancement would be a mirage if proper attention was not given to polytechnic education.

Mr Malachi Odo and Desmond Iheanacho of Ebonyi State University condemned the government’s apparent insensitivity and poor handling of the strike.

“Agreement is agreement and the law demands that agreements must be obeyed.

“We are shocked that the government will always renege on agreements it validly entered into with labour unions and by so doing give room for industrial action.

“This is unfair and unhealthy for our overall development as a nation and we therefore appeal to Jonathan to quickly intervene to save the situation,’’ they said.

They noted that graduates from the nation’s tertiary institutions were looked down in the international community because of the country’s long history of incessant strikes in the tertiary institutions.

The polytechnic lecturers embarked on a nationwide strike in August 2013, citing the non-implementation of the 2009 agreement it reached with the federal government. [NAN]




    Dear president,

    It is with great pains and frustration I write this open letter to you regarding the acclaim ongoing nationwide strike which your union resumed on October 4th, 2013. After a
    failed attempt to compel federal government to implement agreement reached with ASUP using 3months strike earlier from April 27th to July 16th, 2013.
           Unlike your counterpart ASUU, which I believe was more proactive and cooperative in their struggle, Asup has been docile and
    uncooperative. Sir, it will interest you to know that 80% of state government owned polytechnics are currently on session including plateau state polytechnic of which your publicity secretary Mr. Chirman Clement is a lecturer, likewise some federal polytechnic like ILARO, YABATECH, AUCHI, IDAH etc. Have either resumed or were not even part of the strike at all. Sir, I am now compelled to ask if your publicity secretary cannot enforce the strike directives in his constituency, how then will other branches of the union comply with the strike directives? Of course this was not the case with ASUU as no university being it state/federal was on session during the strike.
        Sir, the era of fighting FG at the comfort of your house and granting telephone interview is no longer fashionable. ASUP can emulate ASUU by mobilizing her members from each chapter nationwide to protest the refusal of FG to implement the said agreement reached with the union, if at all their was any, on the other hand, top officials of your union can re-group at the complex of the federal ministry of education Abuja to protest, I believe this is most effective tactic to facilitate a fast resolution on this issue. I also crave the indulgence of the union to be more media friendly, I believe if you can attend more media briefing on Tv, radio and also grant print media interviews more concerned will be demonstrated towards the strike by the stakeholders and the union will as well win the support of parents, concerned citizens and activist to enable the them achieve their goals.
          Lastly, Sir, permit me to express my sincere disappointment with the manner the leadership of the union has played politics with its demand. In the cause of the strike it was confirmed that Federal government with the full knowledge of the union has  selected four(4) as against the thirteen demands earlier presented to them for quick resolution. Sir, we also gathered from the comments of the Honourable minister minister of education Mr Nyisom Wike on channels TV and even at a meeting with the union on the 21st January, 2014 that the fours demands has been met. It now wonders any sensible person why Asup has now bounced back to its thirteen earlier demands. Furthermore these has clearly shown Asup’s insincerity even to themselves and entire Nigerian students, can we now say the union lacks integrity, transparency, uncompromising stand or uprightness?.
         At this juncture I will join my numerous colleagues around the square meters of the country to pronounce Asup “selfish” with their demands, Sir, I will again crave your indulgence not to misinterpret facts here as any student still in proper custody of his/her normal senses can affirm my claims, the union has wooly failed to promote polytechnic students interest such as removal of the dichotomy between HND and BSC, a decision greeted with massive critics by students yet neglected by the union.
          I urge you to adopt more proactive measures in resolving issues with Federal and to also convey our interest along, we are willing to support anytime transparency is projected first. Long live Asup.

      Best regards.
    Valentine Orgbir
    (Building Technology
    Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa, Nasarawa state)

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