Abuja – Prof. Isaac Obasi, Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria (ASUU) to consider the Federal Government’s offer and end its on-going nationwide strike.
Obasi made the appeal in a document made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
He said for the fact that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, openly acknowledged the government’s failure to fulfil its part of the agreement with ASUU was a sign to a quick resolution of the strike.
“ For the first time in history, a serving Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, openly declared very frankly that the Federal Government did not fulfil its part of the bargain with ASUU.
“This sincere and open confession of failure uncharacteristic of past ministers on that seat opens to me new window to a quick resolution of this on-going ASUU strike.
“More importantly, this is a spirit that allows for constructive engagement necessary for reaching a consensus in any collective bargaining engagement.
“Again, this cooperative spirit de-escalates rather than escalates the conflict. It is a spirit that facilitates mutual trust and compromise on the bargaining table.
“Furthermore, this is the spirit that enables negotiation to proceed in good faith,’’ Obasi noted.
He described the national strikes of 1980, 1981 and 1988, as a bad record for both “our public labour relations’ managers as well as to our academics.’’
Obasi said something had been fundamentally wrong with strategies on both sides to drastically reduce the number of strikes in the past 37 years.
“I am interested in an implementable agreement under a peaceful atmosphere ‘because I am involved’ in two ways both as a researcher on the issue as well as a potential beneficiary.
“Historically speaking, the strike statistics of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are usually frightening in both strike frequency and its duration.
“The duration of ASUU strikes appears to impact more negatively on the reputational status of our otherwise highly respected ASUU members than even the incessant nature of the strike,’’ he noted.
Obasi said that in terms of frequency; starting from the first ASUU strike of 1980, ‘’we can count a total number of 16 national strikes, excluding warning strikes of shorter durations.’’
He said that in terms of ‘’ duration, the picture is more scaring to members of the public, and more damaging to academics in reputational terms’’.
Obasi said a window to resolve the current strike was already open as all the necessary government representatives such as the ministers of Finance, Labour and Employment and Education, were involved.
He expressed the hope that the strike would be one of the shortest in ASUU’s history but noted that the duration would depend on how the union’s local chapters would vote on the government’s proposals.
Obasi appealed that all parties should work toward a quick resolution of the crisis.
On Aug. 14, ASUU commenced an indefinite strike due to the federal government’s failure to fulfill the 2009 agreement made with it.