The Academic Staff Union of Universities has warned the Federal Government that if it fails to honour the agreement it had with the union since 2009, universities will not be allowed to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a town meeting at the African Hall, the University of Ilorin, the ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, however, declined to reveal the agenda.
Ogunyemi said, “I think it is better we wait. When we get to that bridge, we will cross it. I can’t open our strategy here; whatever you do is about strategy; let the government refuse to negotiate, we will unfold our strategy then.”
He stated that the union had in March went on strike because of the government’s insensitivity to university education, adding that some of ASUU’s demands included funding of university education, which the government had reneged on in the last 10 years.
“There is a deliberate attempt to kill university education in the country. Some universities use stoves in their laboratories instead of burners and buckets to fetch water to perform experiments; it’s as bad as that,” he said.
He explained that ASUU had signed MoU with the Federal Government on the need to improve facilities on the campuses, students’ welfare, promotion, and welfare, which were ignored “because there are plans to make education inaccessible to children of the poor, which today is creating social vices such as Yahoo-Yahoo, Yahoo-plus, banditry, and other criminal activities in the society.
“Check the social media; you will see them celebrating their children graduating from foreign universities. This is why they are not willing to fund public universities”, the ASUU president said.