By Obafemi Sodunola, Organizing Secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (Sympathizing RCIT Section in Nigeria), 8 February 2019, https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com/
* ASUU should have ensured that the Federal Government of Nigeria and State Governments Implemented All the Agreements before Calling off the Strike Action
* ASUU should Build Synergy with ASUP and Students' Unions in a Bid to Unite the Struggles for Proper and Public Funding of the Education Sector
Reflecting on the call off of the industrial actions by the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (RSV) states: we salute the continuous struggle of the ASUU to save the public education from being priced out of the reach of the students from largely poor backgrounds and exposed it to ruins. At the same time, we also critically hold that it would amount to a serious setback or dampen the conscious and conceited moves of many other organizations or unions that have been taking the same stand/agitations for the proper and public funding of the education sector or showing solidarities/supports for the struggle of the ASUU on the massive scale if the leadership of ASUU called off its strike actions when the government has not sincerely committed to the implementation of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), mutually reached between them. This move, if it's not properly managed, can be a step backward. Returning to the same reason for the strike actions umpteenth when they can make the government be on its knees once and for all.
We are fully vigilantly aware that the Federal Government of Nigeria and the government at the state levels have not been showing any serious compliance to agreements or honour any MOUs signed with the labour unions for many years back. For us, this government needs to be vigilantly and critically put on their toes through consistent and loud actions.
Unequivocally, the governments, at all levels are notorious for playing hide and seek games or treacherous in fulfilling agreements. The struggle for the hike in the National Minimum Wage has shown how wanton the governments can be to meeting/ honouring agreements. It is clearly pointed out in our last release that the labour unions that is, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and United Labour Congress (ULC) should not trust the agreements with government just in word or take it hook and sinker but they should follow them up with consistently vigilant checks until the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is passed into law and fully implemented.
Unfortunately, we are still on the same demands for the payment of the agreed 30,000 naira NMW despite the fact that the Unions suspended the striking actions trusting that the governments will willingly or generously implement the NMW.
We have raised with the education workers, that is the ASUU, ASUP and COEASU etc through many of our press releases, that they should learn from the mistakes or failures of the leadership NLC, TUC and ULC to strike the balance before suspending the strike and fully hold the government responsible until their demands are enacted into law. The foul play on the part of government has, once again, exposed question of non implementation which is still in the offing till date.
For us in the RSV, the ASUU should not just suspend the strike actions without laying bare its massive point of reference among its members, students and the masses at large because the government has always been working against or dishonouring all the agreements reached with labour Unions. The ASUU should, at this revolutionary time in the history of our struggles in Nigeria, keep eagle eyes on the government, be ready to immediately expose them when they want to boycott these agreements as usual as they have been doing in the past.
Again, for us in the RSV, of course at this critical stage of the struggles for the full and public funding of the education sector to revitalize all the rotten infrastructure and place it under the democratic control of parents, the education workers and students, there should be a loud synergy among the unions in the education sector and civil society organizations so as to make the struggles against the government neo-liberal policies of deliberately gross underfunding stronger. The ASUU should immediately begin to unite their struggles with other unions in the education sector. The ASUP, COEASU, Students' Unions should be reached in order to build unique and united front to ensure that the governments at all levels live up to their constitutional responsibilities.
We therefore urge other unions, especially the ASUP, not to negotiate out of fear or favour but ensure that their demands are fully, immediately and unconditionally met.
The Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard will continue to show solidarities to all unions. We will not only do this in words but we will always support them at barricades until we have a radical alternative built on the threshold of socialist economy.