REASONS WHY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS REFUSED TO USE DRASTIC MEASURES ON ASUU MEMEBERS.
ASUU Strike and the Federal Government – Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities popularly known as ASUU is a trade union that comprises of academic staff of Nigerian Public Universities. The sole aim of this union is to fight majorly for the welfare of its members and also for the improvement of public Universities to at least bring Nigerian Universities to international standard.
The tool in which the Academic Staff Union do use to strive for their demands is strike action and which is on record that is usually a prolonged one, sometimes it can even be a year.
On 23rd March, 2020, the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities went on strike based on plethora of reasons, of which one is Federal Government failure to implement the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding. Also, the Federal government resolve to include them in the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) was also part of their reasons for the strike.
The strike by Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities has lingered on for almost eight months and which have kept Nigerian Students at home for so long. The academic Calendar of most public Universities in Nigeria, have been irredeemably disrupted and which will affect these students in no small measure.
Also, the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities have had plethora of meetings with the representatives of Federal Government led by Doctor Chris Nwabueze Ngige, the Honourable Minister of Labour and yet none have yielded any positive result.
There were high expectations of Nigerian students that Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities and Federal Government will reach an amicable agreement after the meeting held on 27th November, 2020, still the status quo remains the same. Some statesmen like the former Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, has appealed to Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities to accept the Federal Government offer, but nothing is yet to be heard from Asuu.
Nevertheless, some have asked Federal Government to forcefully open Nigerian Universities in disregard of ASUU, but there are reasons why government may not want to toe that path. The reason are:
- Universities will lose many resource persons: The Government use of force to open Universities in disregard of Asuu demands may cause the Universities to lose consultants and resource persons who may not want to continue because of such intimidation.
- It may lead to Brain drain: The use of force to open public universities may cause intellectuals leaving Nigerian, to look out for jobs in other countries, which will cause serious brain drain in the country.
- It will not augur well with the students: The students will be the worst hit because it will take them to adopt the new changes both academically and psychologically.
- We are not in a Military regime: Nigerian is a democratic country and in a democracy trade unions like Asuu are allowed to thrive and legitimately push their demands, so any form of force in opening public universities in total violations of the demands of Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities will put Nigeria in a bad light in the International Community and which the Federal Government may not want to risk it.