By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Wednesday held a town hall meeting with market women and pressure groups to sustain its ongoing strike action.
The interactive session was to discuss how to rescue Nigeria education system from near collapse and appraise strategies for the challenges that lie ahead.
ASUU had in November 4, 2018, declared indefinite strike action in public universities nationwide to protest poor condition of service and other issues of concern.
The convener of the meeting and former chairman, ASUU, Benin Zone, Prof. Anthony Monye-Emina, described as misleading that ASUU was “a strike mugging organization”.
He appealed to patriotic Nigerians to prevail on the government to address infrastructural deficit Nigerian Universities.
He said the main reason why dialogue between the federal government and ASUU often often end in deadlock was because of ASUU refusal to introduce outrageous levies and tuition fees beyond the reach of the poor.
“Our society has wrong impression about ASUU struggle. We are not asking for money to keep in our pocket, but for the development of infrastructure in our Universities”, he said.
The Chairman of ASUU, University of Benin branch, Prof. Julius Iyasele who spoke on ASUU intervention and resistance in the struggle, made a pictorial display of comparative analysis on the state of decay in public Universities in Nigeria via a projector.
He said ASUU has written over 450 letters to the federal government since the struggle started in 2009, adding that ASUU strike was not politically motivated.
A leader of the market women, Mrs. Eunice Okudu, said the forum has changed her perception about the struggle and hinted that the strike has made idle students vulnerable.
Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Moni Mike Itua who commended the initiative, said the forum has exposed a lot of secrets about the hardliners.
On his part, the Coordinator of Edo State Civil society Organizations (EDCSO’s) who pledged their support to ASUU, vowed to shut down the economy if the federal government refuses to yield to the lecturers demands.