(Last Updated On: August 15, 2017)

By Gbenga Gbelee

As the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
enters day two today (15 th of August), the Union embarked on a rally across all its chapter
campuses to ensure effectiveness and strict compliance with the no work order.
The rally which held on the University of Lagos campus saw members of ASUU matching in
a peaceful congregation to the Professor Jelili Omotola hall of the university in solidarity to
press home their call on the Federal government to honour its agreement with the Academic
Staff Union which dates back to 2009 and 2013.
In a chat with UNILAG TV news, the National Liaison Officer of ASUU, Lagos Chapter, Dr.
Dele Ashiru said the protest is not about the UNILAG chapter of the Union and it isn’t
targeted at bringing the University’s top echelon to disrepute.
Dr. Ashiru made it clear that in line with the procedures and tradition of the Union, a
congress had earlier held and the rally was only meant to ensure proper activation of the
industrial action.
He however frowned at the conduct of security personnel who manned the gate of the Prof.
Jelili Omotola hall (being venue of a National conference at the time of the rally) and denied
them a peaceful entry on arrival, a development which led to a mild showdown between the
protesting ASUU members and the men in the UNILAG security uniform.
The security guards later backed down and the gate to the venue was forced open.
Dr. Ashiru condemned the action of the security men describing it as oppressive, suppressive,
repressive, undemocratic and unwarranted since the protest was peaceful and not targeted at
harassing anyone or bringing the University’s management into dishonour.
He noted that the pressing issues which necessitated the indefinite strike dates back to 2009
and 2013 when the Federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the
Union but frowned at the failure to honour the agreements contained in the MoU.
The ASUU national liaison officer listed contending issues to include non-payment of earned
academic allowances over the years, refusal to release operational license for NUPEMCO
even after the ASUU had been made to pay about #1 billion (one billion naira) into the
federal government coffers, non-implementation of the provision of the 2014 pension reform
act with respect to retired professors and their salaries, removal of Universities’ staff schools
from Federal government funding and non release of funds for the revitalisation of public
universities .

It would be recalled that ASUU arose from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at
the University of Abuja with a directive to all its members nationwide to commence
indefinite industrial action from Sunday, August 13, 2017.