Nigeria: It Is Criminal to Casualise Academics, ASUU Insists

Wole Ayodele in Jalingo

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University Wukari (FUW) Chapter has condemned the failure of the federal government to pay lecturers their full salaries, saying it was criminal for the government to casualise academics.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, at the end of a protest march embarked upon by the Chapter, to express their dissatisfaction with the federal government’s failure to settle salaries of ASUU members after calling off an eight-month strike, Joe Ikwebe described the government’s action as illegal.

Ikwebe noted that the strike action was foisted on ASUU due to government’s insensitivity and therefore wondered why members of the Union should be made to bear the brunt of the failure of government.

According to him “It is criminal and most insensitive, insulting, demeaning and illegal for the federal government to casualise academics and our protest is to let the whole nation know that we vehemently condemn casualisation in its entirety.

“Its unfair for members of our Union to bear the brunt of the failure of the federal government. The Union did not go on strike because we were happy to go on strike, but because the government failed to honour an agreement it willingly signed with the union.

“The Union should not be punished for the government’s ineptitude and insincerity. The strike in itself was foisted on the union by the government. It is therefore illogical and illegal for the government to withhold our members’ salaries for protesting against ill treatment,” he added.

The Chairman stressed that the revelations made by the Nimi -Briggs committee in a paid advertorial underscored the level of insincerity of government and the depth of what he described as lies and half-truth the government has been dishing out to Nigerians.

He maintained that the strike was suspended due to the patriotism and sense of responsibility of members of the Union in obedience to the order of the Court of Appeal which provided a window of opportunity for the government to sort out the issues at stake.

Ikwebe wondered why salaries of ASUU members would be withheld while there are several institutions that had been on strike for several months without their salaries being withheld.

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