Posted by News Express | 22 October 2013 | 3,755 times

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True to their threat, members of the the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) this morning started a two-day hunger strike to protest the over three months old industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“It has started,” HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, told News Express minutes ago. “It’s from dawn to dusk – 6am to 6pm. I’m briefing the press today,” he said.

In a Facebook update around 4am Nigerian time, Onwubiko indicated that the hunger strike would go ahead. He wrote: “Today by 10am @HURIWA’s national office in Abuja I will brief the press on our hunger strike against ASUU strike. Venue – Suite A37 Maitama shopping complex; off Limpopo street; FHA; Maitama; second floor on top of Maitama stores. We solicit your support.”

Onwubiko, who writes the popular RIGHTSview column in News Express on Tuesdays and Saturdays, had earlier disclosed that he has received assurances from the 250 financial members of HURIWA to join the hunger strike.

“We also expect some of our over 1,000 Facebook members to join the hunger strike, as well as our representatives in the United Kingdom, Austria and Germany,” he stated.

He spoke of “the necessity of embarking on a physical but non-violent civil disobedience measure to call on President Jonathan to take up effective and urgent measures to reopen public universities.”

According to him, “Our main reason for this hunger strike is to protest the lackadaisical and near-reckless approach by both Nigerian government and officials of Academic Staff Union of Universities to end the four months old strike to enable children of the very poor Nigerians to return to public universities. We also want ASUU to adopt peer review mechanism to fish out her members that are perpetually in the devilish habit of demanding sex-for-marks from students and/or constantly extorting students through unauthorized sale of poorly written handouts and lecture papers.”    

The HURIWA chief recalled that ASUU embarked on the industrial action following failure of federal government to discharge her contractual obligations signed since 2009 to adequately fund public university system and pay agreed statutory emoluments to the poor remunerated public university teachers.

He however advised anyone who decides to join the hunger strike to consult his or her medical doctor before and after commencement. 

•Photo shows HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko.

Source: News Express

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