The Academic Union of Universities (ASUU), says it did not ask for students’ hel before it embarked on its struggle.
The union’s comment is in response to Sunday Asefon, president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), who had accused the of being “self-serving,” while noting that students would no longer support its call for intervention.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14, demanding the implementation of the renegotiated 2009 agreement it reached with the federal government.
Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president who responded to Asefon during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Tuesday, said students, who have been at kept at home because of the industrial action, had not supported the union’s struggle.
“Any day students and parents take over this struggle we will not have this problem. Had they supported any of our struggles apart from going from one office to another ? So leave that alone. Go and ask students in the street, not those leaders,” he said.
“What are we saying? Are our universities good? The public primary and secondary schools are dead but the teachers didn’t fight. As I speak with you even with what we have now, we still have 99% students in the public universities because of our struggle. And students will say ‘we are not supporting you.’ Did we ask for your support when we started this struggle?”
Osedeke said only when the government shows some commitment, the union would shift ground.
He said, “One, government should tell us and Nigerians that the money alleged to have been approved for revitalization. How much is it and where it is lodged and when will it be released?
“Two, UTAS as means of paying salary, have they approved that? Three, have they accepted the agreement we reached with their panel? They should come and tell us this not just going to the press.”