As the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities continues with no solution in view, a group under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Organizations have called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency find a panacea to the impasse.
The group, which comprises market women and students staged a protest with placards bearing various inscriptions at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja during the week, over the protracted strike, claiming that the industrial action has forced many undergraduate girls into prostitution.
The group also appealed to the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, the Trade Union Congress, TUC to wade into the matter for the interest of Nigerians.
Some of the placards read, “ASUU please save our young girls from prostitution, NLC, TUC and NUPENG mediate now, Stop playing politics with our future, This ASUU strike has lost its tactics, ASUU please save our future.”
While delivering a letter to the NLC President at the Labour House, the leader of the protesters and Executive Director of Conscience Nigeria, Comrade Tosin Adeyanju hinted that they decided to stage the protest to appeal to labour leaders to mediate in the impasse.
Comrade Adeyanjul said, “We embarked on this protest today to further appeal to all major stakeholders in the Nigerian project and we deem it fit to come to the labour house because of the strategic importance that labour represents in this country.
“For almost 100 days, our students, our dependants, our children have been locked out of our ivory towers and nothing has changed. We are here to appeal to the labour leaders in this country to come and mediate on the lingering and prolonged ASUU strikes.
“We are not unaware on the germane and relevant issues raised by ASUU, there is need for our institutions to be revitalized, there is need for improved research, there is need for improved allowance, there is need for infrastructural development in ivory towers, but all over the world, no country has been able to meet the demands of labour unions 100 per cent.”
“With the information available to us, we are aware that the federal government proposed and has given ASUU a 100 billion initial fund requested for different issues in the various universities. We are aware that ASUU appealed for more money to be given on the earned allowance and 30 billion was given for earned allowance. As at today, about 130 billion has been given to ASUU.”
Receiving the protesters, NLC President, Abduwaheed Omar, represented by the Chief Economist of NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo’eson said that the labour leadership had initiated moves by writing to the Federal government about four times on how to mediate, but government had not responded to their letters