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Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the weekend embarked on mass mobilisation of members not to comply with the federal government December 4 ultimatum to resume lectures.
Members of the union were directed not to sign any register that may be opened by their Vice Chancellors.
The leadership of the union on Friday before departing from Abuja following the federal government riot act instructing them to return to work or be sacked directed all branches chairmen to device means of mobilising their members not to fall for the threats of the federal government.
It described the federal government’s threat as “empty”, pending the next National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Union slated for Minna.
An official of the union who was in the Abuja meeting told our Correspondent that Chairmen were also advised not to hold public congresses in order to avoid any face off with armed military men government deployed to all institutions for the implementation of the December 4 deadline of re-opening.
Our source also said that the date for the NEC meeting fixed for Minna, Niger State capital may not be made public but that the council may reconvene by the weekend after chairmen of branches would have assessed the implementation of the deadline given for resumption.
“Chairmen of all branches are to devise means of mobilising their members not to be intimidated into signing any register or returning to back to classroom. We also resolve not to hold any open congress now that our campuses are militarised but we will ensure that our people are adequately informed.
“Same goes for the next NEC meeting. We resolved not to make public the date but we want all branches to monitor and ensure non-compliant with the federal government December 4 deadline before the council meeting slated for Minna, Niger State,” our source disclosed.
To this end the Union have started using the short message service (sms) and other social media platforms to reach out and to mobilise members not to succumb to federal government threat which the union described as “empty”, insisting that the strike continues.
One of the messages sent to mobilise members stated thus “Dear members, FG decision to threaten us with sack confirms our suspicion that FG may not be honest and can not be trusted. Don’t sucumb (sic) to this empty threat. The strike continues. We shall triumph again. Please, DO NOT SIGN ANY REGISTER. ALUTA CONTINUA- CHAIRPERSON”.
Another message reads, “Dear Congress member, I’m appealing we should stay calm and remain resolute. There is nothing wrong in asking govt to do what it says it will do immediately. ASUU is not making any new demands as the Minister is propagating Govt is only repeating a ‘one act play’ scripted by the IBB dictatorship in early 90s. It didn’t work then, and, it won’t work now ALL BRANCHES are intact. We cannot be intimidated!!! UNITED WE BARGAIN DIVIDED WE BEG!!! ALUTA CONTINUA”.
Another Professor at the Federal University of Technology Minna who spoke in confidence expressed shock at the government ultimatum. “One is shocked by the deadline. If they sack all of us, government will go to Kasua Gwari to pack lecturers or pick Professors on the streets. It is a pity, our leaders are reckless.
“We are not moved by the ultimatum. We are waiting to see how they (govt) intend to wriggle itself out of the self inflicted problem. Do they know how the system runs. The era of intimidation is gone ,” the university don stated.
Meanwhile University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and Enugu State University of Science and Technology have directed students to resume today.
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