Oyo launches ASCAB branch, supports ASUU
By Ayo Omotola
The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, (ASCAB), Oyo State Chapter has expressed full support for striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU).
The newly launched Oyo State branch in a statement on Sunday expressed support and solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) campaign for reforms in the education sector.
The group in a statement made available to Irohinoodua and signed by the newly elected Chairman, Bayo Titilola-Sodo and Interim Secretary, Prof Adenike Ogunshe
described the ASUU campaign as the “struggle against the ruinous and insensitive ruling elite’s continuous attacks on public education.”
The group drew similarity between the way public health have been brought on its knees and the floundering fortunes of University education in Nigeria.
Other Interim officers of ASCAB, Oyo State Chapter are Femi Aborisade, Esq. (Deputy Chairman)
The Oyo State Chapter said “In the face of COVID-19 pandemic, the desperate intention of the ruling class to continue to ruin our educational system has to be vigorously fought, in the best tradition of ASUU’s history”, the group said.
It expressed solidarity with the overwhelming majority of ordinary Nigerians, saying it stands solidly with ASUU and demanded the full payment of several months of unpaid salaries arrears, without any conditions.
“We call on the Federal Government to enter into collective bargaining with ASUU, with a view to integrating the ASUU’s Univeristy Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the Federal Government’s IPPIS electronic payment system.
The weapon of hunger being employed by the regime, in not paying the earned but unpaid salaries of several months is unacceptable to us in ASCAB, Oyo State. This is meant to break the resolve of the striking lecturers but we are confident that ASUU is principled enough, not to allow its spirit to be broken, knowing full well that the poor people of Nigeria who are in the majority are with the lecturers fighting a just cause,” the group stated.
In order to promote certain investments of the private businesses in education, it said public education must not be destroyed.
The group said further “Overwhelming majority of members of the Nigerian ruling class attended public (government) schools and yet, they are unanimous in their determination to destroy such schools for private gain.
The overwhelming majority of Nigerians instinctively understand the mission of the Nigerian ruling class and this explains why they are presently massively supporting the university teachers. We are not in doubt that, majority of members of the public who support the ASUU are the ordinary workers, poor farmers, ordinary traders, students, artisans, and so on, who want free and compulsory education at all levels.”
It described those who constitute the “majority” as the President, the Governors, the Commissioners, Ministers, serving and former, big businesses, domestic and international contractors, in and out of power, and all their hangers-on.
It wondered of what benefit is free and compulsory quality education to them? adding that to them, only their children should have access to quality education in foreign countries; to them only their children should have the requirement to replace them in their privileged positions.
ASCAB, Oyo said anyone who wants a just and better Nigeria, will definitely support the ASUU but that the present struggle can only be won as a struggle to save the whole of the Nigerian society.
It argued that the struggle to save the educational system should be linked with the struggle for free medical care and the necessity to provide palliatives for ordinary people in the COVID-19 pandemic era.
“The ASUU strike must also be seen as a struggle for quality public education, for free and compulsory education at all levels, for the right to organise trade unions, and for better working conditions for private university teachers; for decent minimum wage for all Nigerian workers, and for guaranteed income during pandemic era, including the COVID-19, which is the raison d’étre for the birth of ASCAB” the group said