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 with a written promise that the government would, without delay, offset in full the arrears of salaries members were owed.
President of the union, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, gave this position on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Tribune Online when he was asked to reflect on the speaker’s intervention and then vice versa on the current situation of their issues with the Federal Government.
He said ASUU had a soft spot for the speaker and that was why the union engaged him in a discussion as a welcome intervention to resolve the stalemate between it and the Federal Government.
He said Gbajabiamila even 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.
He said that based on the Speaker’s intervention then, ASUU suspended the strike with the hope that the Speaker’s words would be matched with action.
He said ASUU members praised him just as the whole world did at the period for his intervention without knowing it was all a deceit.
Osodeke emphasized that ASUU members’ collective impression of Gbajabiamila as of today is that he tricked them to go back to work and then sort out things immediately thereafter.
“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 stressed.
He said the Speaker would need to come out as he still has the opportunity to prove ASUU wrong on its impression by simply working out the implementation of his promises to the union.
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