Activists under the aegis of Labour and Civil Society Coalition, LASCO, willÂ tomorrow storm Governor Babatunde Fasholaâ€™s office at the Alausa secretariat, Ikeja,Â to protest the lingering strike by lecturers in the state tertiary institutions.
The activists at a press conference in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, yesterday urgedÂ workers, students, parents and sympathisers to join them at the Nigeria CivilÂ Service Union secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja, to start a series of indefiniteÂ industrial actions against the government.
They vowed to make Lagos State ungovernable until their demands are met.
The activists accused Governor Fasholaâ€™s administration of being insensitive to theÂ plight of Lagosians, especially in the areas of education and health.
Thousands of students of the Lagos State University, LASU, Lagos State Polytechnic,Â LASPOTECH, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, AOCOED and Michael OtedolaÂ College of Primary Education, MOCPED, have been out of classrooms for several monthsÂ due to the lecturersâ€™ strike.
â€œWe will storm Alausa to compel Governor Fashola to reverse his neglect of tertiaryÂ institutions in the state and his total disregard of the implementation ofÂ collective agreements reached with ASUU, SSANU, NAAT, NASU, ASUP, SSANIP, SSUCOEN &Â COEASU at the federal level since 2009.
â€œThe 20 September ultimatum was the third and final of such that the striking unionsÂ gave the Lagos State Government and until date, the government has remainedÂ insincere and insensitive to the implementation of the collective agreements,â€Â Comrade Abiodun Aremu, who read LASCOâ€™s statement, said.
â€œThe direct impact of the neglect of tertiary education by Governor FasholaÂ administration was exposed recently by the results of the June 2010 accreditationÂ exercise of LASU where the Law faculty failed to pass the accreditation test of NUC.
â€œThe result revealed thus: Total number of programmes accredited -14, number withÂ full accredited status-4 and number with interim accreditation- 9 and number withÂ denied accreditation-1. Even the 9 programmes with interim accredited status wereÂ denied accreditation because it was the second time that they were being accordedÂ such. The implication is that there will be no admission into these courses inÂ 2011/2012 academic year,â€ Aremu added.
The activist said when the striking lecturers met with the governor on 7 December;Â he reduced their demands to wages and asked them to count themselves lucky that theyÂ have a job.
â€œWhen we met with the governor, he reminded us that there are only 120, 000 publicÂ servants in Lagos State out of a population of 18 million. He said that we shouldÂ count ourselves lucky to even have a job,â€ Mr. Adeyemi Adesanya, Chairman ,COEASUÂ (AOCOED), said.
The Chairman of ASUU (LASU), Dr. Kabir Akinyemi, said that the demands of strikingÂ lecturers cannot be reduced to wages.
â€œItâ€™s true that we deserve better conditions of service, but lecturers need aÂ conducive environment; the university must be well funded; the infrastructure mustÂ be upgraded, the issue of retirement must be addressed and the issue of internalÂ autonomy is critical. It is not just about salaries or wages as Governor Fashola isÂ misinforming the people,â€ he said.
Ms. Sessi Agnes Funmi, of SSANU (LASU) said it is during Fasholaâ€™s administrationÂ that tuition fees in LASU went from N250 to N25,000, without commensurateÂ improvement in learning.
ASUP Chairman, Lagos State Polytechnic, Mr. Arowolo Olatunji, told journalists thatÂ he did not have an office for the past six years, adding that â€œstudents come to meetÂ me under the tree after lectures. That is how bad the situation is.â€
â€”Simon Ateba, Abiose Luckman, Olarinde Ayodele, Omiyale Samuel & Omisakin Tolupe