Monday, August 8, 2022

Buhari regime using hunger to force lecturers back to classrooms: ASUU President 

Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, who stated this on Tuesday, revealed that the universities lecturers have not been paid by the federal government since February that the strike began.

• August 2, 2022
Emmanuel Osodeke
Emmanuel Osodeke

Striking public universities lecturers in Nigeria, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), have accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime of using hunger as a tool to force them back to the classroom. 

Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, who stated this on Tuesday, revealed that the universities lecturers have not been paid by the federal government since February that the strike began.

“Our salaries have been held, this is the sixth month our 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’,” Professor Osodeke said on a Channels TV programme. 

On February 12, 2022, ASUU embarked on a nationwide strike, shutting down all public universities to demand a better salary and welfare packages and revitalisation of the nation’s education institutions among several others. 

The situation has also forced public universities students to sit at home for five months. 

Speaking further during the live-television programme, Mr Osodeke said that the Buhari regime has failed to listen to the plight of the striking lecturers, who are demanding a better education system for the country. 

He explained that the government cannot use the “force of hunger” to pull the striking union members back to work insisting that the universities lecturers have every right to demand better welfare from the government. 

While stressing that the union was still open to negotiations to end the ongoing strike, the ASUU president also kicked against the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), a payment platform used for paying salaries of federal civil servants.

He insisted that IPPIS is not a workable tool for the peculiar remuneration process in the university system.

On July 19, Mr Buhari instructed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to proffer a solution to the ASUU strike and report back, after being worried by the lingering industrial dispute in the education institutions. 

Mr Osodeke claims the union had many weeks ago concluded negotiation with a federal government panel set to negotiate with them, urging Mr Buhari to implement the dictates of that agreement without further delay.

With the government stalling on implementation, ASUU on Monday extended the strike by another four weeks, dashing the hopes of students to return to campus for their education. 

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