IBADAN, Nigeria (VOICE Of NAIJA)- The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Federal Government of using hunger as a tool to force the striking lecturers into returning to their classrooms, saying none of its university lecturers has been paid since February.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, accused the Federal Government of withholding salaries for six months
According to him, the Federal Government thinks that depriving the lecturers of their salaries will force the university teachers to collapse and end the strike.
“Our salaries have been held, this is the sixth month or salaries have been held. They thought that if they hold our salaries for two or three months we will come begging and say ‘pls allow us to go back to work,” the ASUU President said.
“But we as a union of intellectuals, we have grown beyond that. You can’t use the force of hunger to pull our members back which is exactly what the government is doing
Worried by the lingering industrial dispute, President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 19 directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to proffer a solution to the challenge and report back to him in two weeks.
Reacting to Buhari’s order to end the strike, Professor Osodeke insisted that the union is still open to negotiations with government representatives to end the industrial dispute.
He said there is no room for a master-slave relationship in the academic world, saying workers have every right to criticise a wrong policy.
The ASUU leader condemned the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), a platform the government wasn’t to use to pay lecturers their salaries.