The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Alex-Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (AEFUNAI), Ebonyi chapter, has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime for its harsh treatment of lecturers.
The union, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to prevail upon President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to “avoid engaging in any activity that could plunge the nation’s public university system into another needless strike.”
The union disclosed this during a peaceful protest on Wednesday.
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Egwu Ogugua, the ASUU-AEFUNAI chair, while addressing journalists, said lecturers were duty-bound to complete teaching for the backlog of academic semesters and sessions lost due to the strike.
“We, the members of ASUU, AEFUNAI branch, therefore, reject in totality this alien casualisation of intellectuals, demeaning the centrality of the ivory towers in Nigeria and insulting the sensibilities of the intelligentsia,” said Mr Ogugua. “Yes, we were in the trenches for eight months – February 14 to October 14. Now that we are back, we are duty-bound to complete teaching for the backlog of academic semesters and sessions lost due to the strike.”
He added, “In AEFUNAI, following the suspension of the strike action, we have almost concluded the remaining first semester of the 2021/2022 academic session. We are under enormous pressure to complete the whole session before April and commence the 2022/2023 session.”
He alleged that the government, instead of working to find a permanent solution to the crises in the universities, had resorted to implementing policies that would worsen the situation.
He recalled that ASUU’s strike was suspended based on the intervention of Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and a court order.
“Ladies and gentlemen, recall that on October 14, ASUU decided to suspend their eight-month strike following the intervention of Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Appeal Court ruling ordering us to go back to work,” the ASUU leader in Ebonyi further stated. “It is important for the world to know that since the said intervention and the court order, the government has not paid lecturers for eight months and decided to casualise intellectuals by prorating our October salaries.”