THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, of deception by asking the union to call off its eight-month-old strike in October 2022.
ASUU said Gbajabiamila promised the Union that the Federal Government would pay all the arrears of salaries lecturers were owed.
It would be recalled that ASUU embarked on an industrial action on February 14, 2022, to press home an improved academic environment and welfare of members.
Some of the lecturers’ demands were the funding of the Revitalisation of Public Universities, Earned Academic Allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), and promotion arrears.
Others were the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FG Agreement and the inconsistency in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.
The Union, on October 14, suspended its eight-month-old strike and directed lecturers to resume academic activities immediately.
However, the ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday, said the union had a soft spot for Gbajabiamila, stressing that was why the union engaged him in a discussion as a welcome intervention to resolve the issues between it and the Federal Government.
Osodeke said the House of Reps Speaker presented a paper signed by him to ASUU leadership indicating the seriousness of the government to pay in full the eight-month salaries its members were owed and also urgently attend to some other matters and specified how to address them.
He said part of these concerns were the peculiarities in the controversial Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and the involvement of the House committee on budget allocation, among others.
The ASUU President stated that based on the Speaker’s intervention, the union suspended the strike with the hope that his (Gbajabiamila) words would be matched with action.
“But here we are till today, nothing has been done over the promise and that is why the Speaker did not say anything tangible since then at least on the issues let alone ensure that his promises are carried out,” Osodeke said.
Osodeke, who said ASUU members are only remaining in the classrooms in spite of the unfavourable treatment from the Federal Government as a sacrifice for the sake of students and parents as well as the country at large, said the Speaker would need to come out to prove the union wrong on its impression by simply working out the implementation of his promises to the union.