By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday, warned that if it fails to fight for a better university system, the future of the country will be in jeopardy.
Professor Ayo Akinwole, the Chairman University of Ibadan chapter of the union stated this while featuring on a Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) programme in Ibadan.
The snion said within the last two decades, no government of Nigeria has willingly released money for the university system without the strikes of ASUU.
The ASUU Chairman pointed out that Nigerians should not be deceived by the antics of the federal government over the ongoing payment of minimum wage arrears.
ASUU maintained that, “the N34 billion is being paid to lecturers and senior staff in universities, polytechnic and colleges of education and not ASUU.”
According to Professor Akinwole, apart from the fact that federal government is yet to provide concrete responses to the reasons why it went on strike, those paid the consequential adjustment of their minimum wage are legally entitled to have been paid since April 2019.
He declared that it is sad for the federal government to want to deceive Nigerians as if it has been responding to issues leading to the ongoing strike and that the strike is still fully ongoing and comprehensive.
” Nigerians can now appreciate the sacrifices of university lecturers who are just being paid their arrears three years after they were supposed to have been paid . The government owes us many debts”, he said
Professor Akinwole added, ” the Union is on strike to get better conditions of service and face lift in infrastructure because it does not want her place of employment to crumble the way former Railway corporation went and how public primary and secondary schools have been destroyed by the ruling class.
“We don’t like strikes but we would have explored all peaceful means and lobbied several stakeholders to intervene. We are on strike because all peaceful means failed and struggle has to start to fight for the system and our livelihoods. If we are only after our pockets alone, the strike may not last, but ASUU is more interested in sustainable working environment and conditions of learning for Nigerian students.”