Lecturers of the University of Lagos on Wednesday complied with the directive of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to its members nationwide to begin a one-week warning strike.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited the university campus reports that students were found milling around and idling away, as lecturers stayed away from classes.
A 400 level Civil Engineering student, who simply identified himself as Biodun, pleaded with the Federal Government to intervene and accede to the lecturers’ demands.
Biodun said: “The lecturers are fighting for us.
“Government should please listen to them because I will not like a repeat of the 2013 protracted strike.
“I knew how much the 2013 strike cost me.’’
Dr. Adelaja Odukoya, the Chairman ASUU, University of Lagos chapter, told NAN that he was impressed by the level of compliance of his colleagues in the university to the strike directive.
According to Odukoya, the union will remain resolute in ensuring that the strike is total.
He said that the union was agitating for the interest of students, their parents and development of the education sector.
Odukoya said for the nation’s universities to remain relevant and be globally competitive, they must embrace standard best practices and do what others were doing.
Odukoya said: “I am very happy with the total compliance of members in this branch.
“However, a few of them, who wanted to test our resolve by attempting to enter the classes for academic activities, were quickly called to order.
“We hear the National Assembly is calling for a reconsideration of our action and come over to dialogue.
“I do not think there is any seriousness in the concern they are showing now.
“We have been doing everything possible to hold dialogue on these issues raised and each time we try, it is promises or even outright silence.
“We are not happy that we are declaring the strike because we know how badly it affects us.
“But since no one seems to bother about the situation in our university system, then we have to rise up to the occasion.’’
NAN recalls that the National Executive Committee of the union had on Monday declared a national warning strike at a news conference in Abuja to press home some demands.
The union’s President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, had said the strike would begin nationwide in all university branches on November 16.
He said the union was unhappy that the Federal Government had refused to honour its 2009 agreement with its members.
Ogunyemi also cited the denial of staff entitlement in respect of earned academic allowance amounting to N128 billion, among others, as necessitating the action.