Nigerian govt employing blackmail to force lecturers back to class- ASUU
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria is employing blackmail to force lecturers back to class against the ongoing industrial action by its members.
The union made the comments on Friday at the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, through its coordinator, Akure Zone, Prof Olu Olufayo, who said that government was afraid youths might take to the streets in protest against the ongoing industrial action by its members.
Olufayo added in a statement that no amount of blackmail would make ASUU end the current industrial action, unless its members were paid their salaries owed by the government.
He also noted that the Federal Government had stopped negotiation with the lecturers over the imposition of IPPIS until the recent eruption of violence during #EndSARS protests.
Prof. Olufayo said; “Our students have stayed at home for too long; they have been at home for almost a year now. Don’t forget we didn’t send them home. We embarked on strike before the advent of coronavirus. Don’t forget #EndSARS protests. It was at that point that the government realised that students should not have been idle.
“So, that must have made the government to ask us to resume negotiation. All through the period coronavirus was strong, we were not called for negotiation. But now, government wants us to return to class and engage the students. If we return to class now, what are we going to do there? I can’t teach when I don’t have money to feed myself.
“Also, during #EndSARS protest, the youths also said they wanted to end bad governance. Students in universities in Kwara State have given the government two weeks ultimatum to resolve issues with ASUU and reopen schools; otherwise they would return to the streets. That must have scared government and they told us to return to the classroom. But how can we resume without being paid?” he asked.