Students protesting the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Ile-Ife, Osun State on Tuesday threatened to stop the July 16 governorship poll in the state if schools were not reopened.
The students, who converged under aegis of the Great Ife Concerned Students in collaboration with the Fund Education Coalition, blocked Ede-Ife road, Ilesa-Akure and Gbongan-Ibadan Expressways for several hours.
They called on the Federal Government to respect the agreement reached with ASUU for peace to return on campus.
Speaking with Newsmen, Salvation Aworanti, the vice president, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Students’ Union, who was part of the protest said “our agitations still remain the same. Government should respect the agreement reached with ASUU in 2009.
“They should reopen our schools because we will not allow the election to hold in Osun, as far as OAU students are concerned, if they don’t open our school.”
On February 15, ASUU began a four-week rollover strike following the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands.
Osodeke said since the last meeting the union had with the Federal Government in December 2021, it had not received any formal invitation from the government.
ASUU extended the action by another two months to afford the government more time to address all of its demands.
ASUU also accused the government of displaying an indifferent attitude toward its demands.
Osodeke, in a statement to announce the extension of the rollover strike, noted that the national executive council of the union “was disappointed that Government did not treat the matters involved with utmost urgency they deserved during the four-week period as expected of a reasonable, responsive, and well-meaning administration”.
He said NEC concluded that the government had failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action within the four-week roll-over strike period and resolved that the strike be rolled over for another eight weeks.
The statement read in part, “The meeting was called to review developments since the Union declared a four weeks total and comprehensive roll-over strike action at the end of its NEC meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos on February 12 to February 13.
Osodeke said the strike extended over the government’s failure to “satisfactorily” implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the Union in December 2020 on funding for revitalisation of public universities (both Federal and states), renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ ASUU Agreement and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.
Other demands of the union as listed by ASUU include Earned Academic Allowances, State Universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries, and non-remittance of third-party deductions.