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ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President - Education - Nairaland

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ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by edusurf: 4:14pm On Aug 30, 2009
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT UMARU YAR'ADUA

Dear Mr. President,

We have read in some newspapers reports of your appeal to “our university lecturers” to go back to classrooms. You made this appeal presuming that lecturers are responsible for the current situation in which all the unions in the public university system are on strike. It is, of course, false that were ASUU not on strike all other unions would not be on strike. This neglect of the total situation has the consequence of concealing the true nature of the crisis that has left the public University system paralysed.

It is important to correctly ascribe responsibility for the current crisis.  The ascription of responsibility for this crisis depends on which human agents caused the crisis and have sustained it through their actions. Your appeal ought to be addressed to whoever is responsible for students’ not being in the university at this time.

Mr. President, you are aware, that on December 2006,the Federal Minister of Education inaugurated an FGN/ASUU Renegotiation Committee to
review comprehensively the 2001 Agreement on (i)Funding of Universities (ii) Conditions of Service, (iii) University Autonomy and Academic Freedom and (iv) Other matters.

Do you remember,  Mr. President, that following a meeting between you and ASUU leadership, as you assumed the Presidency of Nigeria, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, wrote ASUU President,  stating that the Government's Negotiating Team “shall be empowered to negotiate with ASUU within the principles of Collective Bargaining with a view to addressing the problems of the ROT AND BRAIN DRAIN in the University system and establishing internationally competitive standards” (Dr.Aboki Zhawa, Permanent Secretary, FME/PS/029/C.I/Vol.1/128 to the President, ASUU).

Do you know, Mr. President, that the leader of the Federal Government  Team, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, after an initial breakdown of negotiation, when ASUU questioned his mandate at the Negotiating table, on April 3rd,2008,wrote to the President of ASUU, stating “l wish to confirm that in the context of the current  negotiation I have the full mandate of the Federal Government of Nigeria to discuss and sign an agreement on the issues set out in items 1-4 on page 3 of your letter”[the items are the terms of reference referred to above] (NUC/ES/138/ XLIV/544).

Do you know, Mr. President, that, when the negotiation ended in December 2008 (two years after), in spite of his admission that he had the mandate to negotiate and sign an agreement with ASUU, your agent, Deacon Onosode, leading the Government Team, refused to sign the Agreement reached by both sides, claiming that he was acting on the instruction of his Principal?

Do you know that the existing framework of the 2006-2008 negotiation is in accord with the Labour Act Section 91, and that the composition of the Government Team is in accordance with the Cookey Commission's Recommendations, accepted and applied by Governments as the basis of Collective Bargaining in Nigerian Universities since the 1990s to date?

Do you know, Mr. President, that the refusal by your agent to sign the Agreement in 2008 is a unilateral abrogation of the 2001 Agreement?

Do you know, Mr. President, that, contrary to the principle of collective bargaining, on July 10, 2009, Deacon Onosode, speaking on behalf of your Government, announced that negotiations were ”to be concluded by individual University Councils”? Mr. President, is it not clear that this is a unilateral declaration of change of the framework of negotiation after negotiation had ended? Mr. President, is it permissible in a game for a player to change the rules  after the game is over and ask the other player to accept the changed rules whether they are legitimate or not?

Mr. President, do you know that there was no mention of percentages either as ASUU's demands or as the Government Team offer or as Agreement between the two teams at the negotiation table. Do you know that the Ministers of Education, Information and Labour told the country that ASUU demanded 109% increase in salary? We know  that you are aware that neither side in a negotiation has the right, according to the principles of collective bargaining, to unilaterally impose an award on the other party? Did government not break this principle of collective   bargaining when the Minister of Education announced a 40% take-it or leave-it award to ASUU? When, on July 10, 2009, the same Deacon Onosode, who had on April 3, 2007 declared that he had mandate to sign an agreement with ASUU pronounced that the Federal Government [i.e his principal] had taken a final position on the salaries of staff of Federal Universities, was that not an illegitimate repudiation of the mandate after the negotiation was over?

Mr. President, where did the 40% announced by the Minister of Education come from? Certainly, not from the negotiation table. Why did the Government negotiate for two years if all that it wanted to do was to make an arbitrary award? Would any reasonable human being not infer from this that Government had taken ASUU for a ride for over  two years or, alternatively, that some agents in government were bent on sabotaging the signing of the Agreement?

Mr. President, since neither Decree 11, 1993 nor the University (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act (2003) provides for financial autonomy, is it correct to rationalise the unilateral decision to terminate central negotiation by relying on  the “University Autonomy and Academic Freedom” as set out in the University (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act (2003)”? Is any University Governing Council in Nigeria, in the present state of public universities and the Nigerian economic set-up, capable of generating the fund it needs to pay workers, finance teaching, research and infrastructural development? What then, is the significance of Autonomy or the 2003 Amendment Act in the current crisis? NONE!

Mr. President, do you know that in 1996, General Abacha terminated negotiation the same way and unilaterally referred ASUU to Councils? Do you know that this was abandoned when it became clear that it had worsened the crisis? Mr. President, should we repeat past errors?

Mr. President, do you know that on July 29, 2009, ASUU met with the Vice-President, on your directive, to find a possible window on the issue of state universities?

Do you know that:
(1)     it was found that the agreement reached with ASUU would not compel any State Government and that whatever suggested so could be resolved by editorial work?
(2)     the Minister of Education agreed at this meeting to identify any contentious issues and bring them to the negotiation table?
(3)     Negotiation was to resume on August 3 and end on August 14, 2009?
(4)     the Vice-President gave a period of two weeks to end the whole negotiation, with ASUU calling NEC to consider the issue of strike?
Mr. President, would it surprise you that: on Monday 3rd August, the acting leader of the Government Team denied knowledge of the Vice-President's directive? On Tuesday August 4th, Deacon Onosode, resuming, said he knew nothing, about the meeting with the Vice President, even though the NUC Executive Secretary, who was at the meeting was sitting next to him? On Wednesday, August  5th, the Team took a day off  during which  Deacon Onosode would, with the Executive Secretary NUC meet with  the Vice-President so as to be informed by the Vice President about his own directive. On Thursday, August 6th, Deacon Onosode told the meeting that his “authentic” principal had told him that the July 10, 2009 (unilateral) declaration was final. In short, even though the Vice-President had directed completion and signing of agreement within two weeks,  after four days only, Deacon Onosode, on the prompting of his “authentic principal” refused to negotiate and sign the agreement with ASUU, insisting on the same unilateral declaration that he made on July 10,2009.

Please consider these, Mr. President
(i)     Deacon Onosode wrote ASUU that he had full mandate to negotiate and sign an agreement (April 3, 2007).  Over two years later, he told ASUU that his principal told him not to sign and he refused to sign (July 10, 2009).
(ii)     Deacon Onosode's Principal changed the rules of a game after the game had ended, and tried to impose new rules to get the game replayed.
(iii)     The Ministers of Education,  Information and Labour misinformed the unsuspecting public by substituting invented figures and claimed they were ASUU's demands.
(iv)     The Minister of Education and the Executive Secretary of NUC sabotaged the Vice-President's efforts to resolve the problem as agreed on July 29, 2009. This they did in collaboration with some other government functionaries.
(v)     The Minister of Education and Deacon Onosode unilaterally terminated negotiation-by declaring a final position on all the issues negotiated.  (July 10, 2009).

In view of these, are you still in doubt, Mr. President, who should be held responsible for the Universities remaining shut? Why are all unions in the university, not just ASUU, on strike? You should not be in doubt. The reason is that Government has repudiated the Agreement reached with them.

Mr. President, the negotiation was meant to reverse the decay in the university system, stem the brain drain, in order to reposition Nigerian Universities for greater responsibilities in national development. The actions of those who unilaterally declared an end to the negotiation and sabotaged the Vice-President's directive have jeopardized the pursuit of these goals.

Mr. President, would the following not embarrass any society in which the rulers claim to aspire to attain the status of an advanced society by 2020, and which wants to attract its  intellectuals/scholars back from foreign countries?

ANNUAL SALARIES OF CERTAIN PUBLIC OFFICERS
Permanent Secretary, Executive Secretary, Chief Executive of
Parastatal,Vice Chancellor                          N22,051,154.30
Professor                                                N3,859,078.60
Federal high Court Judge                           N26,875,840.00
Local Government Chairman                        N13,865,895.30
Local Government Supervisory Councilor       N12,746,875.00
Federal House Member                              N35,932,346.30
Senator                                                  N36,677,840.00


Mr. President, what would you say if you found that public funds are being used to hire thugs and touts to carry out demonstrations in the name of students, as happened recently in Owerri? Would you be surprised that some government functionaries for the sake of breaking a strike have been making desperate and dangerous efforts to exploit ethnic differences in a certain university, in a town already prone to ethnic-related crises, as in UNIJOS?

Mr. President, what is at stake is really that ASUU members are citizens, not slaves, ASUU insists on truth and honour in dealing with citizens. We said it before the Vice-President on July 29,2009 that negotiation and signing could end in one week. We stand by this position. Those who prefer to leave the university system in crisis instead of promoting industrial democracy, truth and honour are the ones who have refused to sign and have decided to  abrogate agreements validly negotiated.

Mr. President, ASUU appeals to you, in the Spirit of Ramadan, to put an end to the sufferings of students, their parents (including lecturers); and the suffering of Nigerian academics who are victims of the debasement and vilification of intellectual labour.  In the Spirit of Ramadan, ASUU appeals to you to consider millions of Nigerian children whose parents can not afford to send  them abroad or to private universities in Nigeria when public universities would have collapsed by willful neglect. In the Spirit of Ramadan, let education not become a preserve of the rich and powerful. Let future generations benefit from the rise in academic standard, from the drastic reduction in the brain drain which the Agreement reached with ASUU would bring. Let the Agreement reached with ASUU and other Unions, after two years of patient and patriotic negotiation be signed. We wish you the best of the season
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Nobody: 7:01pm On Aug 30, 2009
A letter to a dead man! Dead on!
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by eben28(m): 9:40pm On Aug 30, 2009
Pls, Mr President, help us the Nigerian students. Our future is crying. We need you to help us reform the education system of our nation. Do not bother about the pains to make it happen but consider the gains that will stem up after this glorious reform. Mr President, we the students of Nigeria will never forget you if you make this happen.

As for you FERDIII, you had better watch your mouth and what comes out of it. Do not speak evil things to your leaders, rather, you pray for them. I hope you understand.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by otokx(m): 3:47am On Aug 31, 2009
The ball has always been in the court of the FG but Turai is sitting on it and Yar Adua thinks its in ASUU's court as he is not seeing it.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Nobody: 4:37am On Aug 31, 2009
:p
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Akanniade(m): 1:56pm On Aug 31, 2009
I doubt if yaradull is goin to understand haf of what was written.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by asha80(m): 2:01pm On Aug 31, 2009
Akanniade:

I doubt if yaradull is goin to understand haf of what was written.

grin cheesy grin cheesy grin cheesy grin cheesy grin cheesy chai guy you wicked oo.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by biola44: 2:12pm On Aug 31, 2009
;d ;d ;d ;d ;d ;d ;d ;d ;d ;d
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Nobody: 2:27pm On Aug 31, 2009
yaradull is a sick me he would understand wat ASUU wrote to him
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Nezan(m): 2:38pm On Aug 31, 2009
am tired of hearing all those noise
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by otukpo(f): 2:40pm On Aug 31, 2009
FG pls do something fast.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by PAININASS: 3:15pm On Aug 31, 2009
Hmmm, Very greedy ASUU! even in south africa,the highest paid proffesor collect about 20.000R per month which is about #150.000 in NG,What people don't understand about ASUU is that,ASUU is not fighting for quality of education in nigeria or the welfare of their staffs, "ASUU IS FIGHTING BECAUSE OF MONEY".
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by PAININASS: 3:19pm On Aug 31, 2009
And the worse is that,98% of the proffesors works in more than 1 institution
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by youngies(m): 3:25pm On Aug 31, 2009
ASUU is bleeping with a dead man
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by youngies(m): 3:28pm On Aug 31, 2009
PAININASS:

Hmmm, Very greedy ASUU! even in south africa,the highest paid proffesor collect about 20.000R per month which is about #150.000 in NG,What people don't understand about ASUU is that,ASUU is not fighting for quality of education in nigeria or the welfare of their staffs, "ASUU IS FIGHTING BECAUSE OF MONEY".

Can you show proof of this your claim? Or forever shut your gob! embarassed
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by bastrin(f): 3:28pm On Aug 31, 2009
angry angry angry angry

d man is already dead so he does not care @all.

angry angry angry
PAININASS:

Hmmm, Very greedy ASUU! even in south africa,the highest paid proffesor collect about 20.000R per month which is about  #150.000 in NG,What people don't understand about ASUU is that,ASUU is not fighting for quality of education in nigeria or the welfare of their staffs, "ASUU IS FIGHTING BECAUSE OF MONEY".

angry angry

pls for ur info I am currently in South Afica n R20,000 is about #400,000. pls check ur exchange rate. like I said I am in Mzansi(SA) currently.

angry angry angry
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by stagger: 4:13pm On Aug 31, 2009
PAININASS:

Hmmm, Very greedy ASUU! even in south africa,the highest paid proffesor collect about 20.000R per month which is about #150.000 in NG,What people don't understand about ASUU is that,ASUU is not fighting for quality of education in nigeria or the welfare of their staffs, "ASUU IS FIGHTING BECAUSE OF MONEY".

The exchange rate of the rand to the US dollar is about 8rand to US$1.

This converts the salary to about $2,500 which is N400,000 a month. How much do the highest paid professors in Nigeria earn a month? Not even up to half that figure. GO AND CONFIRM THIS!

YOU ARE ONE OF THE IDIOTS WHO COME HERE TO POST RUBBISH! angry angry WHERE IS THE GREED WHEN THE HIGHEST PAID PROFESSOR (GO AND FIND OUT WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME ONE) CAN'T EVEN BOAST OF EARNING THAT MUCH?
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Oluschenco(m): 4:26pm On Aug 31, 2009
stagger:


This converts the salary to about $2,500 which is N400,000 a month. How much do the highest paid professors in Nigeria earn a month? Not even up to half that figure. GO AND CONFIRM THIS!

YOU ARE ONE OF THE IDIOTS WHO COME HERE TO POST RUBBISH! angry angry

I wonder why some people come out boldly to display their insanity.
Some professors in Nigeria earns about N321,000, is that not more than half of N400,000 you better go and re-enroll for SSCE so as to stop disgracing yourself here, Mr. Know-all. Hmmn! wonders shall never end.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by latch(m): 1:26am On Sep 01, 2009
@ PAININASS

I don't know where you got your information about South African Professors salaries from, but if you go to the link below, you'll see that they earn roughly n avarage of R500,000 per year, with some making almost R1,000,000 a year.

http://www.thetimes.co.za/PrintEdition/News/Article.aspx?id=885131
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by UNLEASHED(m): 4:24am On Sep 01, 2009
Akanniade:

I doubt if yaradull is goin to understand haf of what was written.

If he'll be the one to read
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by texazzpete(m): 6:55am On Sep 01, 2009
Oluschenco:

I wonder why some people come out boldly to display their insanity.
Some professors in Nigeria earns about N321,000, is that not more than half of N400,000 you better go and re-enroll for SSCE so as to stop disgracing yourself here, Mr. Know-all. Hmmn! wonders shall never end.



Good. Now here's a question for you: Do you know how many years of hard study, massive personal development and a plethora of written and published papers it takes to become a Professor?

Forget professors for a minute. A fresh graduate with a first class degree starts off his academic career as a Lecturer Assistant. How much do you think lecturer assistants earn?
So why would any right thinking brilliant person enter academia when he'll earn less than an ordinary cashier in Unity Bank?

Here's the growth
Lecturer Assistant > Lecturer 2 > Lecturer 1 > Lecturer > Senior LEcturer > Professor

So many years of effort to earn less than a local government councillor.


And it's not all about the money. Sometimes it's about the quality and joy of the work. Arguably, South African Universities have better equipment, better infrastructure and better working conditions. So it's comparing apples to oranges to look at their salaries in absolute terms.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by texazzpete(m): 6:56am On Sep 01, 2009
PAININASS:

And the worse is that,98% of the proffesors works in more than 1 institution

Another absolutely baseless claim that merely confirms your status as an unrepentant fool.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Nobody: 8:05am On Sep 01, 2009
We have a sick president who is dying, slow as a snail, n blind to d crisis in Education system. We don't have a President i'm not sorry to say. He's a graduate is wot annoys me most, he knows there things already, he should be able to feel d cries n pains of student n parent. Even me, i'm dyin everyday sittin at home when i'm supposed to be in class. Its like a part of me has been cut off. Its not d first time we've striked but its d first time i've felt it most why?? BeCos i'm not seein d strike as wot would be called off anytime sooner, YARADUA is makin OBJ's administration look like it was good.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by olalekan1(m): 8:33am On Sep 01, 2009
You guys are just arguing on nothing. Lets pray for a solution to our own problem, lets leave south africa alone. Government should do something quick. I doubt if yaradua has forgotten that he said he will be a leading servant to all Nigerians.
Yaradua remember your promise to this nation because God will surely judge everyone even ASUU.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by Homonide: 9:15am On Sep 01, 2009
It is obvious that Mr Yar'adua's government does not value the education, and in essence,the future of Nigeria.What stands him out from a Soldier like Sani Abacha then?This guy is supposedly a University graduate for GOD's sake! No matter how long it takes, methinks ASUU should see to the end of this problem once and for all,no matter how long it takes.
Mr Yar'adua, can u or do u read at all?
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by dafman10(m): 10:32am On Sep 01, 2009
God help our country Nigeria. As for Mr President do the right thing and dont listen to that kitchen cabinet that is with no spark cos your agents ve bundled the oppurtunity for you to write your name in gold though it is not too late. God be with you amen.[b][/b]
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by stagger: 10:51am On Sep 01, 2009
Oluschenco:

I wonder why some people come out boldly to display their insanity.
Some professors in Nigeria earns about N321,000, is that not more than half of N400,000 you better go and re-enroll for SSCE so as to stop disgracing yourself here, Mr. Know-all. Hmmn! wonders shall never end.



Where did you get this figure from? Unless you are talking of Covenant University, no full-fledged Professor of many years standing earns up to N250,000 a month. Go and check your facts or post a pay advcie here to prove it.

This has been the problem. We have apologists of government who do nothing but distort the truth continually. I had posted an expose on the matters arising from this current strike.

EVERYTHING HAD BEEN NEGOTIATED AND AGREED ON SINCE NOVEMBER 2007. Unfortunately, Dr(Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili resigned and since then, we have had insincere education ministers who have been misleading the Presidency on this matter.

Or else, how can we justify that Vice-Chancellors are now earning N1.7m a month (which was part of the negotiated agreement of Nov 2007) with a severance pay of N33m on expiration of their tenures?

Why did the government implement the one that suits them? Since when did agreements start being implemented arbitrarily?
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by palermo: 11:18am On Sep 01, 2009
a letter to a sick & haggard grin angry sad shocked man,
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by tokunegiye(m): 12:34pm On Sep 01, 2009
God! na so we go dey dey. my nfriend just got to canada on scholarship and say their school is built with bullet proof, so now tell me whycant the govt of this country give a better education, why wont they be able to provide all the education system needs. Some time I feel there is no reason for to even go to school cos there is nothing for us to learn with. Shame be to the people who come out to called call themself our Govt for they do not worth it. Sorry i say to a great nation called NIGERIA. [center][/center][size=8pt][/size] angry sad shocked embarassed

Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by osix(m): 12:43pm On Sep 01, 2009
Please Mr President we are pleading you to find solution to this problem.my family cant avoid private school fees or to learning in abroad.,
we all know that education is the light to succed.
please just sympathy.
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by TheSeeker(m): 1:03pm On Sep 01, 2009
If ASUU should resume unless their requests are fulfilled, they're the dumbest union. angry angry
Re: ASUU's Open Letter To Mr President by olalekan1(m): 2:00pm On Sep 01, 2009
TheSeeker:

If ASUU should resume unless their requests are fulfilled, they're the dumbest union. angry angry
we hurrying to finish eating ekuru and someone is here dropping it back into the plate,  A n je ekuru ko tan, enikan n gbon owo re sinu awo. May be you dont have children at the university and may be you dont have friends and also may be you are selfish because Govt's 40% salary increase is enough to call off the strike and continue negotiating.

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