REPORT OF THE NAUS and NANS SOUTHWEST MEETING WITH ASUU SOUTHWEST LEADERSHIP HELD ON THE 21ST OF FEBRUARY, 2022 AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, AKOKA.
1. The Southwest leadership of the National Association of University Students (NAUS) and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) met the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Southwest zone on the ASUU strike which was recently declared.
2. The Chairman of ASUU-UNILAG, Dr Dele Ashiru who was representing the Zonal Coordinator gave a brief history of the ASUU strike; how negotiations have occurred and efforts turned futile due to the failure of the FG to meet their demands.
3. A member of ASUU gave the reasons for the ASUU strike and how it has benefited students in the past, and how over 70% of new structures in Federal University are built by either TETFUND or NEEDS Assessment and over 80% of new and old structures in all state Universities are built by TETFUND and NEEDS Assessment (which are all products of ASUU struggles and protest).
4. He also said the strike is not about fighting for their revitalisation alone, but that of public universities across the federation and also mentioned the poor condition of Lecturers.
5. Dr Isaac Akinloye, Chairman of ASUU-LASU buttressed and emphasized the reasons for the ASUU strike and gave personal instances.
6. The NANS Zone D Coordinator Comrade Adegboye Olatunji said he understood why the strike is ongoing and gave total solidarity to ASUU Southwest to join the struggle for better funding, revitalisation of public universities, and payment of academic earned allowances of lecturers on behalf of NANS Southwest.
7. The coordinator said there was a gap between the Student Union Leaders (NANS & NAUS) and ASUU. He asked the leaders to always carry them along. He said students blame ASUU for the strike due to their ignorance, and he sought that lecturers should always sensitise their students whenever they lecture in their various institutions.
8. NAUS Southwest Vice President, Comrade Adesoji Oladimeji (SOJ) who spoke commended ASUU for their courage, resilience and persistence in the struggle for better working conditions. He reiterated the commitment of the Student Union leaders to supporting ASUU and mentioned how Vice-Chancellors of Universities who understood unionism and are members of ASUU have victimised union bodies and unionist after they are appointed.
9. He also pleaded and suggested that ASUU should come out and go against their members becoming returning officers at the elections as another means of protest.
10. NANS Zone D Coordinator asked how they could be of help to ASUU. In response, a member of ASUU said students benefit more from the struggle. “Why are students not always aligning with ASUU to fight for better funding of their institutions?’’ he asked.
11. NAUS VP Southwest gave reasons with a few instances for students not demonstrating their rights, he gave an historical account of how Student Union bodies were proscribed on campuses and he pleaded with ASUU to speak to their members across the zone to put an end to such activities.
12. He also requested that ASUU-UNILAG should assist the students in the struggle for the reinstatement of University of Lagos Student Union (ULSU). A member of ASUU-UNILAG gave reasons ASUU has not come to the aid of its student saying that there has not been a cordial relationship between the students union leaders and ASUU not just in UNILAG but across the affected schools where union bodies have been banned.
13. The Chairman of ASUU-UNILAG, Dr Dele Ashiru gave a historical account of the proscription of ULSU which was the Students’ Leaders’ fault. ‘’It is not our responsibility to restore student activism on campus but that of the students’’ he said.
14. He lamented how students have been lackadaisical towards activism and read a letter ASUU-UNILAG wrote to the Vice-Chancellor on the 16th of October, 2018 to appeal to the management to lift the ban placed on student unionism in the school. He charged the NANS and NAUS leaders to speak to student union leaders across the campuses in the southwest zone to always work with ASUU on their campuses.
15. He replied to the comment on lecturers becoming Returning Officers at elections, saying it happened when Prof. Attahiru Jega was the former INEC Chaidman. He sought ASUU’s assistance during the 2015 elections due to the credibility of its members but since he left, ASUU has never been consulted. He added that Lecturers who are returning officers applied on their will and they are not ASUU members, he also added that ASUU members are also affected victims of school managements sanctions not only the students, and the strike affects them as well.
16. Dr Dele Ashiru asked that the Student Union leaders present should disseminate the information received at the meeting to their fellow students across their campuses, and that legitimate steps be taken by the leaders in making FG accede to their demands. He said enlightenment and sensitisations must take place across our schools in the zone as it is the next line of action that should not be taken lightly.
17. The NAUS Vice President Southwest, Comrade Adesoji Oladimeji(SOJ) responded by reiterating the commitment of the Student Union Leaders present to join in the struggle and solidarity songs were sung by stakeholders present which brought the meeting to an end.
18. Present at the meeting were Dr Dele Ashiru, Chairman of ASUU-UNILAG who represented the ASUU Southwest Zonal Coordinator who was unavoidably absent due to a meeting at Abuja, Dr Isaac Akinloye, Chairman of ASUU-LASU, Ass. Prof. Rufai Kazeem Chairman of ASUU-TASUED, other Chairmen of ASUU in other universities in the zone and their members, NANS Zone D Coordinator, Comrade Adegboye Olatunji, NAUS VP Southwest, Comrade Adesoji Oladimeji (SOJ), Comrade Giwa, the immediate past General Secretary of NANS Southwest zone, Chairman NAUS CMC Lagos, Comrade Ifeoluwa Sonoiki, Vice Chairman, NAUS CMC Lagos, Comrade Paul Olabode, and other stakeholders in the student bodies.
Aluta Continua !!!
Comrade Adesoji Oladimeji (SOJ)
NAUS Southwest, Vice-President.
Comrade Ifeoluwa Sonoiki
Chairman NAUS CMC Lagos