The Tinubu Campaign Organisation (TCO) has slammed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the ongoing strike.
NewsTimes recalls that ASUU had announced its resolve to convert the roll-over strike it had embarked on since February to an indefinite strike over the failure of the government to meet all its demands.
The striking lecturers stated that the purpose of the total and comprehensive strike is to save public universities from dying and make the institutions better equipped.
The union demands include the payment of earned allowances, payment of revitalisation funds to universities, creation of visitation panels and implementation of the University Transparency Accountability Solution instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System for the payment of workers in the ivory towers.
In an interview with The Punch, the spokesman of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, accused ASUU of being unreasonable for embarking on an indefinite strike.
He claimed that despite the federal government’s decision to meet ASUU and assuage their worries, the union extended the ongoing strike for political reasons.
Onanuga asserted that the leadership of ASUU is callous and bringing the nation’s education to its knees because they want more money.
He said: “Looking at ASUU’s position to extend the strike, the government has decided to meet them and assuage their worries. Maybe they are doing it for political reasons.
“ASUU has so far shown that it is unreasonable. How can a union resolve to embark on a protracted strike? Our children, who are supposed to spend four years, end up spending six or seven years solely because of the ASUU strike. I think the leadership of ASUU is callous, bringing our education to its knees because they want more money.
“People should talk to ASUU. The government has said, ‘It is not that we don’t want to give you more money. We have X amount of money. There are so many things we need to spend money on, and we can’t just give everything to the universities.
“ASUU has also been reminded that every state or federal university has its own autonomy. It has a governing council at that level. Why can’t they try to find a way to solve some of the problems?”
Onanuga, however, expressed optimism that the protracted ASUU crisis will not affect the campaign of its principal, Bola Tinubu.
He added: “Who created the ASUU crisis? Buhari inherited the ASUU crisis. In fact, the agreement that caused the strike was done under the PDP administration. They agreed to it just to pacify ASUU, perhaps to get their votes, but Buhari has tried to implement many of the provisions in the agreement because the government is a continuum.
“He has tried to implement it, but ASUU keeps shifting the goalpost. The government is still not folding its hands. They have been talking to them and making them see the benefits of what the government can do to improve university education.
“We believe that our people are reasonable. The issues have been tabled. Everybody knows what is happening, and they know they can’t hang anything on our candidate.
“As I said earlier, this problem was inherited by Buhari due to a controversial agreement signed six years before he came into power. Can the PDP blame the problem they created themselves and couldn’t resolve for six years on Tinubu?”