Polytechnics across the country have now been closed in the last 61 days, following the strike action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on April 6.
Our correspondent reports that there is no end in sight to the industrial action, as the lecturers have insisted that they will not suspend the action until the government meet their demands.
According to a statement signed by the general secretary of the union, Comrade Shammah S. Kpanja , ASUP described as false a statetemet credited to the Minister of State, Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba that govwrnment had fulfilled all the Union’s demands.
The statement further said such comment by a Minister who should know better is unfortunate as he displayed an embarrassing lack of understanding of the issues in contention and progress being made in the engagements between the Union and the government.
Comrade Pkanja further said that the union will not be intimidated into suspendeding the strike action.
The statement reads in part:
“We understand the HMSE’s gaffe on the day as he has not been part of the engagements in any way from day one, neither has he been part of the review meetings between the Union and the officials of the Federal Ministry of Education. Indeed, he does not know why the union is on strike!
“His embarrassing display on the day is typical of the display of majority of the political class in the country who take turns to deceive and hoodwink the populace irrespective of the sensitivity of the occasion. In this instant, the HMSE’s victim were the students who came to express their displeasure at the government’s insensitivity to their plight.
“We will not educate the HMSE on issues that he should be properly acquainted with, but would make bold to say that the government is yet to fulfill critical aspects of the items contained in the memorandum of understanding it entered into with our Union on the 27th of April, 2021. This is the reason why the Union has remained on strike.
“We would further advise the HMSE to endeavor to draw a line between politicking and governance and take closer interest in the challenges facing the education sector in line with the mandate of the ministry.
“While the Union will be making further statements on the status of the engagement with the government in the coming days, it is important to point out that the Union will not be intimidated by such poorly scripted pieces of blackmail by the HMSE as we are determined to remain focused on the issues in contention.
“The public should continue to hold the government responsible for the closure of public polytechnics in the country since 6th of April, 2021.