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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Monday alerted Nigerians that if the Federal Government does not pay their withheld salaries, a fresh crisis will break out in the nation’s universities.
The union asked parties of interest and well-meaning Nigerians to pressure the Federal Government into paying the withheld eight-month salaries of its members across the country.
The alarm was raised by Prof. Moyosore Ajao, the University of Ilorin ASUU Chairman at a special congress of the branch that took place at the university’s main auditorium on Monday.
Dr. AbdulGaniyu Olatunji, ASUU Secretary read Ajao’s speech while addressing the media after their solidarity rally within the varsity’s campus.
Speaking on ‘Casualisation of Intellectual Workers in Nigeria: Preclude to Our Response,’ Ajao said, “Members of the public are hereby sensitised and put on notice again that a fresh crisis, which will surpass all previous ones, is looming again in Nigerian universities as our members cannot and will not continue to do free work that will not be remunerated. We hope that with this notice, all relevant stakeholders, who have the ear of the government, will act fast before the fragile peace restored on our campuses nationwide collapses.
“Our union and its members should not be held responsible for the consequences that its actions, in response to the crude wickedness of the Nigerian state, would have on all stakeholders.”
Also, ASUU members at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, protested against what they termed the victimization of lecturers by the Federal Government and its agents.
In an interaction with newsmen on Monday during a protest, Ayoola Akinwole, the chairman of the union expressed sadness that the Federal Government is yet to honour the agreement reached with the union since December 23, 2020.
According to Akinwole, the government chose to play politics with the lives of Nigerians and stopped the salary of ASUU members for several months instead of taking decisive actions to address the issues.
He said, “The only explanation for this is that the government is hell-bent on destroying ASUU in order to have the freedom to destroy public universities.
“As a union of intellectuals, it is our historical responsibility to protect public universities from collapse and fight for the interest of our members as well as the interests of the Nigerian students. All these considerations necessitate today’s protest.”