*Strike disrupts our exams— UNICAL students

By Our Reporters

ACADEMICS activities were, yesterday, literally paralysed across universities in the country as the one-week warning strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU entered its second day.


At the University of Lagos, (UNILAG) and Lagos State University, (LASU), there were full compliance on the directives from ASUU, as lecturers in both institutions boycotted lectures.
Vanguard visits to the two campuses at Akoka and Ojo revealed that both lecturers and students were not in the classes, and many students seized the opportunity of the strike to travel home.

At UNILAG, some of the students were found at the institution’s sport complex engaging in sport activities, while few others were studying under trees and in some class rooms.

In Ogun, the situation was the same at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode as lecturers obeyed the one-week warning strike by ASUU. Many students were stranded as a result of the failure of the lecturers in the universities to resume work. At TASUED, students were allowed into the premises, but did not receive lectures. At OOU, most of the students did not bother to go for lectures as they were said to have been warned against coming following the warning strike order.

For FUNAAB, the strike coincided with the school’s one week lecture break, with many students already staying away from the campus to observe the lecture week break.

However, Vanguard gathered that few students that wanted to enter the campus were barred from entering by ASUU. Some students who spoke with our correspondent lamented that the strike would further worsen their plight as they had suffered from long breaks due to strikes and other sundry issues in their various schools. A student of FUNAAB who pleaded anonymity said the school was planning to commence exams next week and they were afraid that the strike would jeopardise the exam.

Cross River: The usual bustling environment in the University of Calabar was yesterday desolate as the students stayed away from school following the one week warning strike by university lecturers. Not only were students affected by the strike, the buses and taxis that usually wait at the main gate of the school to ferry students to the various departments were not in their usual positions while those in the hostels carried students out of the school to the town.

Kindness Ojong, a Philosophy student told Vanguard, “We were in the middle of the examination before the strike started. We hope when they resume they will help us complete the examination before embarking on total strike, if that will happen.”

Owerri: Academic activities in Imo State University, IMSU, and Federal University of Technology, FUTO, all in Owerri, have been grounded as the popular lecture theatres were empty. All the students who spoke to Vanguard in the respective institutions, appealed to government to dialogue with ASUU and resolve the problems amicably. “I am honestly sick and tired of the periodic breaks in my school’s academic calendar. Government should please dialogue with ASUU and save us from this nagging problem,” a female Sociology student lamented.

Benue: ASUU, at both the Benue State University, BSU and the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, FUAM, observed the one week warning strike called by the Union. During Vanguard’s visit, lecturers were not seen in any of the classes, while leaders of the aggrieved union were seen patrolling the campuses to ensure strict enforcement.

Collective decision

Contacted, the branch chairman ASUU-BSU, Dr. David Ikonni, said members had complied with the directive of the national body to down tools. Ikonni said, “yes we are on a one week strike in line with our collective decision in order to call the attention of the government to its failure to implement agreements reached way back in 2009.”

Enugu: The one-week warning strike embarked upon by ASUU to press home their demands for better remuneration and enhanced academic environment, has grounded universities in Enugu State. A senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, UNEC, told our correspondent, yesterday, that they were informed about the strike “this morning.” The senior lecturer who would not want his name in print said the strike was overdue because their demand has been neglected for too long.

Niger State: At the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, lecturers observed the strike. When our correspondent visited the Bosso temporary and Gidan Kwanu permanent sites yesterday, both students and lecturers were seen in the two campuses but without lectures.  Many of the lecturers from our findings have stopped coming for lectures since Tuesday, while those who were seen in the two campuses kept away from classes while the students were also seen in groups discussing their plight.

Kano: Academic Staff of Bayero University, Kano, Kano State University and Northwest University, Kano, have withdrawn from their duty post as the warning strike entered day two nationwide. Although, the three tertiary institutions have just finished the 2015/2016 session, but the post graduate students are billed to commence their examinations, November 22. Reports across the institutions confirmed that activities were halted in most of the faculties and departments as staff stayed away from their offices. The week long warning strike has raised apprehension among the 2015/2016 graduating students who are yet to complete their projects as the temporary hiccups may snowball to spill over.

Anambra: At Awka, the situation was the same as academic activities were on hold at government –owned universities and Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University owned by the Anambra state government.

Enugu: University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, also obeyed the one week strike as academic activities were suspended on campus.
The ASUU Chairman, UNN chapter, Dr Ifeanyichukwu Abada ordered members of the union to proceed on the warning strike.

Rivers: The strike was effective at the Rivers State University of    Science and Technology, Port Harcourt as there were no lecture for students.

However, a lecturer from University of Port Harcourt who did not want his name in print said the strike will not achieve anything substantial because the Nigerian political leadership had never been positively responsive to agitation from the education sectors.

Bayelsa: The usually busy campus of the Bayelsa owned Niger Delta University yesterday recorded lull in activities following the decision of the institution chapter of ASUU to join in the strike called by the national body.

The strike action had crippled academic activities at the institutions forcing the students to leave for home.

Benin: The University of Benin (UNIBEN) and the Edo State owned Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma were not left out in compliance to the ASUU directives as lecturers and students vacated classrooms.
Though students were seen on campus but the classes were under lock and key as ASUU leaders in the university patrol the classes to ensure compliance.

Gombe: It was also a full compliance from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Gombe State University (GSU) chapter.
The striking lecturers however called on the Federal and state governments to take advantage of the period and address the issues that led to the strike in order to make for free flow of the system.

Osun: At the University of Ibadan,some students who were skeptical of the effectiveness of the strike turned up for lectures but they did not see any lecturer to see them. Some of them were on the football pitch and lawn tennis courts playing.

Speaking  with the ASUU-LASU Chair, Dr Isaac Oyewunmi at the Union’s secretariat, he reiterated that the seven days warning strike will be total, adding, ‘’if the Federal  Government  fails to accede to ASUU demands within this seven days warning strike, we shall have no option than to proceed on definite strike.

He said that several moves made by ASUU to reach the Federal Government through the Minister of Education to address the lingering Federal Government  /ASUU 2009 Agreement  proved abortive. “Thus far as you can see, the ASUU-LASU chapter has fully complied to observe  the warning strike,” the said.

He said: ‘’Its unfounded that the enormity of the implications of the economic recession can push people to say all sort of things, but the truth is that ASUU can not be part of this government.

‘’I did not appoint the government, but if you ask of my opinion regarding education, I will say, we are next to no other nation.

‘’If our budget allocation to education is still 6%, as a stakeholders in a university, I am more than disappointed.

‘’We are on warning strike, we are neither here nor there.

Before we got to this point, we had tarried for slightly over a year to reach out to the government to avert this strike. We have written close to 30 letters and had dialogued with a ghost government.

‘’We had struggled to pin down the minister, but you wont find him, we had struggled with the Senate ,House of Assembly, you wont find them. They have no time for the business of the country they run.’’

By Dayo Adesulu, Wole Mosadomi,  Daud Olatunji, Emma Una, Chidi Nkwopara, Peter Duru, Chinedu Adonu, AbdulSalam Muhammad, Vincent Ujumadu,  Samuel Oyadongha, Simon Ebegbulem, Vincent McAnthony, Ola Ajayi & Jimitota Onoyume



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