ASUU STRIKE: Senate President, David Mark Begs ASUU To Call Off Strike

Published On: October 24, 2013, 2:00 pm (7 years ago)
Author: Wapgodz
Senate President David Mark barely stopped
short of calling those who negotiated the
2009 Federal Government agreement with
the Academic Staff Union of Universities

Mark said the government negotiators couldn't
differentiate between their right and left
hands and that the ASUU leadership took
advantage of their ignorance.
He said, "Listening to the agreement that was
signed by the Federal Government as Comrade
Uche Chukwumerije read out, I was really
wondering whether this was signed or it was
just a proposal.
"But when he concluded, he said it was signed.
It only shows the level of people the executive
sent to go and negotiate on their behalf
because ab initio, people must be told the
truth, what can be accomplished and what
cannot be accomplished.
"If a leader says I am going to accomplish this,
he is morally duty bound to honour it. But
even if you decided immediately after that
you cannot accomplish it, I think it is only
proper for you to go back and start
"But if you prolong it on the basis that you are
still going to honour it and you don't honour it,
then it doesn't portray us in good light.
"This is where the Federal Government ought
to call those who were party to this
"On the other hand, I think ASUU simply took
advantage of the ignorance of those who were
sent and simply just allowed this agreement to
go on because it is obvious that this is going to
be very difficult piece of paper to implement.
"They found that those who were sent there
simply didn't know their right from their left
and they just went ahead.
"I think that also is not fair because ASUU is an
organisation in Nigeria and we are not going to
go to another country to implement this piece
of paper."
The Senate President spoke on the floor of the
senate during a debate on a motion by Senate
Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba. The senate, in the
motion supported by 107 members, said the
ASUU strike, which began July1, 2013, had
become a national embarrassment.
At the head of the Federal Government re-
negotiating team with ASUU in 2009 was the
boardroom guru, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode.
The members of the team were Prof. Musa
Abdullahi, a former Pro-Chancellor of the
University of Jos who died in 2008; Prof. Creg
Iwu, ex-Pro-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe
University, Awka; Rev. Father T.E. Uwaifo, ex-
Pro-Chancellor, Ambrose Ali University,
Ekpoma; Emeka Nwankpa, ex-Pro-Chancellor,
Abia State University, Uturu; Ambassador
Muhammed Adamu Jumba, ex-Pro-Chancellor,
Bayero University, Kano; Prof. Mahmood
Yakubu, Executive Secretary, Education Trust
Fund; and Senator Abdullah Wali, who was a
member until February 2008.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Education,
Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who briefed his
colleagues on the text of the FG-ASUU
agreement said the varsity teachers negotiated
N1.5tn, comprising Varsity Funding and Earned
Allowance for lecturers.
He said that ASUU demanded that the
government should spread the implementation
of the pact for a period of three years at
N500bn per year.
Chukwumerije, who admitted that some
clauses in the agreement were ambiguous,
however said efforts by the government to
raise funds to meet the ASUU demands were
rejected by the lecturers.
He said that ASUU had rejected the N130bn
offered them by government which comprised
of N100bn for funding and N30bn as Earned
Most of the senators who contributed to the
debate said that varsity education in Nigeria
was underfunded but also noted that some of
the demands by ASUU were outrageous.
The senators noted that both the leadership of
ASUU and the Executive should shift grounds
on the strike because the agreement, which
was the cause of the conflict, was defective.
They also mandated the Committee on
Education to continue to liaise with the
Federal Ministry of Education, the National
Universities Commission, ASUU and other
relevant stakeholders to proffer lasting
solution to stem further strikes in the
education sector.
They equally mandated Mark as the Chairman
of the National Assembly, to engage President
Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of ASUU
in a meaningful dialogue with a view to
bringing the strike to an end.
The senators lamented the crises in the
education sector in the country and submitted
that the current ASUU strike, if allowed to
continue, could spell doom for the nation.
Mark, apparently miffed at the shoddy
negotiation conducted by the government,
said he could only beg the striking lecturers to
go back to the classrooms and give room for a
Mark said, "The essence of this motion is to
find a solution and a way forward. I have
listened to all those that have spoken so far.
"Let us shift ground in our understanding of the
problem and find a solution because if all the
parties involved just dig in and they say they
won't shift ground then there will be no
solution to it and Nigeria will be worse off for
"Whether it is the executive, the legislature or
the judiciary or ASUU, not shifting ground is
not going to help to find a lasting solution to
the problem.
"I want to appeal to ASUU and in fact let me
even use the words, I want to beg ASUU on
behalf of the Senate, that they resume and
come back to work. They have made a strong
case. Their position is obvious now.
"We can now see the consequences of their
action and I think if they extend it beyond this
then they will begin to lose public sympathy."

Posted: (7 years ago) on 24-10-2013 02:00 PM | Newbie

Posted: (7 years ago) on 24-10-2013 07:26 PM | Gistmaniac


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