Education

Social media awash with funny comments as ASUP suspends 10-month strike

Kayode Obembe

Kayode Obembe

The umbrella body of the teaching staff of polytechnics in Nigeria, the Academic Staff of Polytechnics (ASUP), on Saturday, 12 July 2014, suspended its almost one-year strike for three months.
This came on the heels of the intervention of the newly-appointed Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, on Thursday, 10 July 2014, who assured members of the union that the issues would be addressed.
President of ASUP, Dr. Chibuzor Asomugha, confirmed the suspension of the strike, agreed upon by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union, adding that lecturers had been given directives to resume official duties with effect from Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
The NEC meeting, in which the suspension of the industrial action was agreed upon, was held two days after ASUP met with the new Minister of Education and former Kano State governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, who pleaded with the striking lecturers to softpadel on the crisis.
The polytechnic lecturers had been on strike since October 2013, over the failure of the Federal Government to meet their demands.
As expected, social media has been buzzing with reactions on the news of the strike suspension. Here are some of the reactions…

LINDIA ALEX on Facebook
God is bigger than everything both the so called strike, I believe dis time around FG will comply and reach to their demand.

UMAR ABBAH YARINCHI on Facebook
Welcome back polite. Please, can someone remind me my department?????

LINZO on Nairaland
Did he (the minister) remove the discrimination between HND and Bsc cert? If No, stop jubilating.

SEBASTINE CALLISTUS on Facebook
Its not over until it is over. Never the less, to God be the glory!!!

ODOH KENNEDY LIGHT KAY on Facebook
Why is ASUP being brain washed all the time, they could have remained in the strike than suspending it for three months. That means they’re crazy.

@zubairumakeri on Twitter
Work on what? ASUP means that Shekarau does not know the high level of discrimination against HND holders? Bullshit.

COMR. GOODLUCK ESEMELOR on Facebook
Asup suld go 2 hell or even life strike if they like. Very soon, students will be burning down rectors n lecturers houses 1 afta d oda. d time is very near

NJAN RICHARD EYAM on Facebook
Datz a gud start 4d minister we pray it continues.

@isasanyinna on Twitter
@SaharaReporters OMG what a ridiculous place to live, there is a high probability of going back again after 3 months.

SK OLADOJA on Facebook
Wia r dose calin Shekarau al sorts of names? Wat ur Broda Wike canot do fr almst a yr is bein done by wat u caled”Aboki”… B wise n say NO 2 regionalism.

ZAK ALKALI GABAZINI on Facebook
If the segregation between uni and poly will still exist let d strike continue. Bcos it makes no sense after d long strike.

IDY BASSEY on Facebook
Abeg! Mk dem clear me 4 nysc 1st b4 d go bk 4dia strike o. Tnx b 2 God. Wat an incredible strike!

JAFARU ADAVIZE on Facebook
I pray before the three month ends the minister might have been able to resolve some of the contending issues if he is committed to his promise.

JONATHAN ANYANTA on Facebook
Tnk God oo. Atleast studnt wl learn smtin b4 den!

ASUP declared an indefinite industrial strike action on October 4, 2013, on the premise of 13 demands which it tabled before the federal government as early as February 2012, which includes:
-The need for a re-constitution of the governing councils of federal polytechnics which were dissolved in 2010.
-The migration of the lower cadres on the CONTISS 15 salary scale. Government had approved the migration in 2009 and actually began its implementation for the senior cadres with strong assurances that those of the lower cadres would follow without delay.
-The release of the White Paper on the Visitations to Federal Polytechnics.
-The need for the commencement of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Polytechnics.
-The worrisome state of state-owned polytechnics in the country. The argument to government here is based on the rot and comatose state of most state polytechnics.
-The continued appointment of unqualified persons as Rectors and Provosts of Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Colleges of Technologies by some state governments.
-The refusal of most State governments to implement the approved salary packages (CONPCASS) for their Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Colleges of Technologies and the 65-year retirement age even though both states and federal polytechnics are regulated by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and they operate the same scheme of service.
-The insistence of the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to include Federal Polytechnics in the IPPIS module as against the Union’s protestations while other arms of the tertiary education sub-sector are allowed to maintain the status quo.
-The dichotomy between university and polytechnic graduates in job placements and career progression.
The argument in this regard is anchored on the fact that graduates from these sectors should be measured on the strength of their competence on job delivery and not the environment that produces them.
-The continued recognition of the NBTE as the regulatory body of Nigerian Polytechnics as against the union’s repeated call for the establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission, NPC. The strength of the argument here is relevant as the universities and colleges of education are regulated by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, respectively.
-The snail-speed pace of the review of the Federal Polytechnics Act at the National Assembly.
-The reluctance of the Office of the Head of Service to approve the Revised Scheme of Service for Polytechnics.
-The non-commencement of the re-negotiation of the FGN/ASUP agreement as contained in the signed agreement.

STUDENTS ALSO REACT:
‘God that the crisis has been finally resolved’
– WILLIAMS ADEYINKA, The Polytechnic, Ibadan (Mass Communication)
It’s a welcome development that ASUP has suspended its almost one year strike which paralyzed academic activities. We have wasted all the time we should have invested in our academic pursuits. But at the end of it all, we thank God that the crisis has been finally resolved. We pray that they don’t disagree again.

‘I am happy that the strike is called off’
– SEGUN FATUNDE, Osun State College of Technology (OSCOTECH), Accounting (HND)
It’s good news. I am happy that the strike is suspended. I have been at home for about five months, doing nothing. I thank God now that the Federal Government and ASUP have finally reached an amicable agreement.
We have lost almost one academic year, which means we’re automatically spending one year extra. It’s not a good thing at all. But now, we thank God for the minister’s timely intervention.

‘We only pray it is not a mirage’
– ABIOYE LAWAL, Kaduna Polytechnic (Accounting)
We are happy that the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) has ended. We only pray it is not a mirage. We now have to go back to school and see what we can do to recover the much we have lost.

‘I’m glad we are going back to school’
– ROSE NWAEZE, Abia State Polytechnic (Business Administration)
I’m so, so glad we are going back to school. I thank the new Minister of Education, Alhaji Shekarau for his timely intervention. We expect all the polytechnics to announce resumption date so we can resume academic activities having lost a lot in the last one year or so.

‘It is obvious we have really lost a lot to this strike’
– KELECHI V. OKORIE, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede (Mass Communication)
I commend the new Minister of Education for taking the right step to save our future. It is obvious we have really lost a lot to this strike. There is so much to do. So, we have to go back to school.

‘I am excited. It’s a welcome news’
– ILESANMI OLUWADUNSIN, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti
I am excited. It’s a welcome news. All praise be to the creator of heaven and earth, though many destinies have
been terminated by this 10 – month old strike. But my Bible says, in everything, give thanks to God. May we all succeed and be favoured by God and man.

‘I hope they live up to their promises’
– ABDULAZIZ YUSUF, Kaduna Polytechnic (Biochemistry)
The former Education Minister, Nyesom Wike, is a failure, what he couldn’t do in 10 months, his replacement, Ibrahim Shekarau, did in less than a week. I really hope they live up to their promises this time around, because it would be disheartening for us to go back and sit at home.

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