The president, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, joined other; Nigerians to condemn the use of strikes to compel the government to honour agreements. He, however, said; strikes were the only language government understood to meet public demands.
Prof Ogunyemi, who spoke after the union suspended its three-month old strike, recently said; it was; never the desire of ASUU to use strike as tool for agitation.
According to him, it was; regrettable and painful that industrial action is the only language successive governments since; 1980 understood to meet public demands in virtually all sectors.
“Comrades and compatriots, as we have always argued, the last thing ASUU members love doing is to cause disruption in the smooth intellectual engagements with; colleagues, friends and students right on our university campuses.
“ASUU is strongly convinced that; if academics fail to fight the cause of university education, the fate that befell public primary and secondary schools would soon; become the lot of the public university system in Nigeria.
“ASUU’s advocacy on the need to stem the continued slide into rot and decay in public universities since; the 1980s has fallen on deaf ears.
“Our experience, as a trade union, shows that successive governments in Nigeria always; entered into negotiated agreements only to placate those pleading the cause.
“This proclivity of the Nigerian ruling class, irrespective of which wing of the insensitive stock they belong, must continually be; tracked, engaged and resisted by; all people of goodwill.’’
Chairman ASUU, University of Ibadan, Dr Deji Omole, aligned with Prof Ogunyemi, when he addressed ASUU congress of the university.
Omole said; the association would not allow the ruling elite to destroy the heritage of the poor which is qualitative public university education.
He said that the strike was borne out of genuine and patriotic commitment to ensure a better future for; children of the masses and by extension, Nigeria.