BREAKING: ASUU Protest Rocks UniJos Amidst Impending Nationwide Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has been agitating for improved funding of the education sector and better welfare for its members, may be well on track to initiate a national strike with their 14-day ultimatum ending on Sunday.

Naija News gathered that the union members at the University of Jos protested on Tuesday, urging the Federal Government to act swiftly to prevent the impending industrial action.

The second semester exams at UNIJOS were disrupted on Tuesday when a protest began around 11 a.m. as Union members marched and sang solidarity songs throughout the university community.

The protesters carried placards with different inscriptions, some of which read: “‘Let ASUU members breathe,’ ‘Pay our promotion arrears,‘ ‘Adequate funding of universities, Is that hard?’ ‘End ASUU strike now,’ ‘ Sign Nimi Briggs MOA,’ ‘IPPIS is a fraud, migrate us now,’ and ‘Tinubu, release our revitalization fund,’ among other things.

According to the PUNCH, they were joined in the protest by university students showing solidarity.

Following their protest, the group assembled at the university’s Senate building, where they were received by the university’s senior management team, which included the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tanko Ishaya; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Professor Joash Amupitan (SAN); and the Registrar, Dr Rejoice Songden.

The university’s ASUU Vice Chairman, Prof. Kiri Jaryum, who spearheaded the protest, informed the VC that his members had endured ample suffering and maltreatment by the Federal Government.

He said the union could no longer bear the situation if the government failed to address their demands at the end of the 14-day ultimatum earlier given to the government by the National Executive Committee of ASUU.

Jaryum, who handed over a 9-point demand to the VC for onward delivery to the Federal Government, said, “Our protest today at the University of Jos is in line with the 14-day ultimatum given by the National Executive Committee of ASUU and activities to be carried out by the various branches.

“As we are here, other branches within the Bauchi zone of ASUU, which comprises six universities, are doing the same thing.

“Our branch chairperson is away to coordinate similar protests in the zone as we are doing the same at the University of Jos and he has asked me to stand in for him.

“Our demands have been with the government for a long time, and it is rather unfortunate that we are repeating the same thing because the government has been playing a deaf ear to them.

He outlined the contents of the protest letter, which included the demand for the government to fulfill obligations such as paying their earned academic allowances budgeted for in 2023, providing revitalization funds, and ensuring the payment of salaries for members omitted from the IPPIS platform, among others.

Upon receiving the 9-point protest letter, the vice chancellor expressed gratitude to ASUU members for their peaceful demonstration at the institution.

The VC affirmed his support for all the demands outlined in the protest letter and indicated his intention to append an additional demand before submitting it to the FG.

He called on the FG to increase its funding for public universities to enable them to function and serve their objectives.

I can assure you that we are going to submit this protest letter by ASUU to the federal government verbatim. I can tell you that all the 9 points you have listed here have affected all members of the university community in one way or the other. I can tell you that some of us here are also being owed some number of months’ salaries.

“So, we are suffering and we understand what your demands are. In forwarding this letter, I’m also going to include item number 10 because the University of Jos can no longer provide electricity anymore with the recent increment in the electricity tariff, the VC stated.

Naija News earlier reported that ASUU threatened a nationwide strike, giving the government a two-week ultimatum to reconstitute the governing councils of federal universities.

The Federal government responded by announcing the constitution of a new governing council of federal universities and other institutions in the country, but ASUU rejected the government’s action and insisted that the government had not met its demands.

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