Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, President of the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU), has said that the union did not ask for students’ help before it embarked on a strike.
Earlier, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) president, Sunday Asefon, had said that students would no longer support the union’s call for intervention.
He accused the ASUU body of being self-serving.
Reacting to the comment by the students’ leadership while speaking in an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Osodeke said students who have been kept at home because of the industrial action had not supported the union’s struggle.
According to him, “Any day students and parents take over this struggle, ASUU body will not have this problem. Had they supported any of our struggles apart from going from one office to another? So leave that alone. Go and ask students in the street, not those leaders.
“What are we saying? Are our universities good? The public primary and secondary schools are dead but the teachers didn’t fight. As I speak with you, even with what we have now, we still have 99% of students in public universities because of our struggle. And students will say ‘we are not supporting you.’ Did we ask for your support when we started this struggle?”
He said, “One, the government should tell Nigerians and us that the money alleged to have been approved for revitalization. How much is it and where is it lodged, and when will it be released?
“Two, UTAS as means of paying salary, have they approved that? Three, have they accepted the agreement we reached with their panel? They should come and tell us this not just going to press.”
ASUU had been on strike for over five months, with students and parents calling for the government to reach an agreement with the union so schools would resume urgently.