AAU SUG Release Communique in order to keep students abreast amidst of the current in going strike in the school.
Below is the Communique
We bring you aluta greetings and an update on the activities of the student union government on the lingering strike issue.
The University is faced with serious challenges which we may all already know. Particularly, all staff unions; ASUU, NASU, MDCAN are on strike.
In view of the situation, we herein proceed to run you through on the moves and actions taken by our administration.
1. Following the asuu national strike and covid/pandemic forced 11 months holiday, the university and its students resumed. We immediately resumed and in no more than 3 weeks exam commenced, Though very inconvenient.
2. Within the period of 3 weeks preceeding the exams, NASU proceeded on strike. Thereafter, during the course of examinations, ASUU threaten to go on strike immediately after the exams. True to that, on the 25th of March 2021, ASUU proceeded on strike.
3. Prior to this, the SUG leadership had engaged the parties(ASUU and management) to forestall the current strike through which we were able to gather certain information.
4. We thereafter wrote to the governor on the issue asking him to intervene, and forestall the strike. Within 24 hours of receiving our correspondence, the Governor called for a meeting with ASUU and management, wherein the governor appealed to them to avert the strike and continue work while he promised to ensure that they are paid 2 months owed salaries on or before 30th April 2021. This ASUU refused and thereafter proceeded on strike.
5. We immediately wrote to ASUU appealed that they consider the offer and our best interest as students over and above all other factors. In response, ASUU acknowledged our letter while insisting on their decision.
6. We have thereafter continued to engage the government on these issues, we have met with the SSG on 2 different occasions on this same issue, where he appealed to us to please maintain the calm while also explaining the issues on ground to us, and a brief hint on their plans.
7. We have also now met with the Governor himself, his deputy, speaker, SSG, head of service and 4 other permanent secretaries in a meeting which held yesterday; the 4th day of May 2021.
8. In all the meetings so far, we have come to understand that the issues go beyond just salaries, they span misadministration, financial misappropriation, ethnic politics, personal vendatas etc all of which we cannot take side with. What is important to us remains the speedy resumption of academic activities.
9. Further more, we had called a general assembly wherein we heard from the students community and thereafter reached a decision to protest. This was prior to our meetings with the SSG and Governor’s cabinet.
10. Upon meeting with these relevant authorities, getting a clearer picture as well as ventilating our demands and grievances at all relevant times. Our demands continue to bear at the fore resumption of academic activities.
11. May we also state that immediately after our meeting with governor and his cabinet, we called a meeting with departmental Presidents, Faculty Presidents, Hall Governors/Governess and other relevant stakeholders holders to intimate them with updates from the meeting as well as make them see reasons with our decision to halt the planned protest.
12. From the meetings held with the state government thus far, we now among other things know the following;
a. That the government seeks to implement the report of the investigative panel set up November 2020. Recall that the student union like other relevant stakeholders submitted a memorandum detailing issues affect students, as well as recommendations. This same report we are told will be made public soonest.
b. That the government has in the pipeline a bill seeking to amend the law establishing the university which is being given accelerated hearing by the state House of Assembly. This we are told will resolve some of the issues on ground as well as empower the relevant offices with power to make far reaching decisions for the benefit of the university.
c. That we stand a better chance at maintaining pressure on the government if the university remains open.
The bottom line our dear comrades is that at the point of reaching the decision to cancel the planned protest; we were and are still faced with either going on protest and eventually having the school shut down indefinitely, or exercise a little patience for few more weeks while the government resolve the issue. It is the latter that we have decided to follow.
Simply because the point of our protest was to pressure government and make our demands known. These we have now significantly achieved through diplomacy and proper engagement as against social disobedience which endangers the lives of our students whose interest we must protect at all cost.
COMR. NGOZICHUKWU JEREMIAH
SUG. DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION AAU