Gbajabiamila Promised To Intervene But Deceived Us To Call Off Strike ― ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of deception regarding his intervention in the university lecturers’ strike earlier in the year.

This was after the Speaker asked the union to call off its eight-month-old strike in October with a written promise that the government would offset in full the salary arrears its members were owed.

Emmanuel Osodeke, the president of the union, gave this position on Tuesday when he was asked to reflect on the speaker’s intervention and then vice versa on the current situation of their issues with the Federal Government.

In an interview with Tribune, he said ASUU had a soft spot for the speaker and that was why the union engaged him in a discussion as a welcome intervention to resolve the stalemate between it and the F.G.

Osodeke noted that Gbajabiamila even presented a paper signed by him to ASUU leadership indicating the seriousness of the government to pay in full the owed eight-month salaries of its members.

He said part of these concerns were the peculiarities in the controversial Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), the involvement of the house committee on budget allocation, among others.

According to Osodoke, ASUU members praised him just as the whole world did at the period for his intervention without knowing it was all a deceit.

READ ALSO: ASUU Strike: Nigerians Will Hear Directly From Buhari, Says Gbajabiamila

“But here we are till today, nothing has been done over the promise and that is why the Speaker did not say anything tangible since then at least on the issues let alone ensure that his promises are carried out,” Osodeke stressed.

He said the Speaker would need to prove ASUU wrong on its impression by implementing his promises to the union.

Osodeke said ASUU members are only remaining in the classrooms in spite of the unfavourable treatment from the government as a sacrifice for the sake of students and parents as well as the country at large.

He berated the judiciary for hurriedly passing judgment on their matter with the FG as the court adjourned the case till January 26.

According to him, the sensitivity of the case should have caused it to be addressed in whole, given speedy hearing and concluded without necessarily being delayed.

Nonetheless, he rated the outgoing year as a very bad one for the education sector in Nigeria, noting that great damage had really been done to the sector by the current administration.

He described the situation as catastrophic and prayed that the next government would be courageous enough to declare a state of emergency in the sector and fix the mess that he said would take up to four or five years to clear.