AGAINST the Federal Government’s order that striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) must resume or face sack, the leadership of the academic body has urged parents not to expose their children to the hazards of Nigerian bad roads because no academic activities would start until the government perfects the resolutions reached with the union and implement same.
ASUU, which has been on strike since five months, said it was the height of insensitivity for President Goodluck Jonathan through the Education Minister, Nyesom Wike, to ask students to return to campuses to force parents to waste their lean resources.
ASUU also directed its members not to sign any register being used by the federal government to intimidate them, but tasked them to remain calm, stay resolute as the union was on course to ensure that no staff was victimised.
In a text message sent by ASUU National President, Dr Nasir Fagge, and University of Ibadan chapter of the Union, ASUU said it was laughable that the president denied issuing the order to sack academic staff.
Fagge said: “Comrades, can you see the unfolding drama? Now Jonathan says they didn’t give ultimatum; that the Vice Chancellors did and Wike became their trumpet. But NUC’s ultimatum is by Federal government to us to resume or get sacked. And Wike’s Press address says “FG has directed”, NOT “VCs have directed”. Be calm, stay resolute. By God, we are on course”.
Similarly, the University of Ibadan Chapter of ASUU through its Chairman, Dr Segun Ajiboye, asked parents not to risk the precious lives of “our students by releasing them”, saying, “no lecturer will teach them.
“Don’t risk the lives of your children, keep your children at home because ASUU will not teach. Soldiers and the police deployed by the federal government will not teach. Mr Wike can come and teach in the University. It is a huge joke to sack professors. Our strike must not be in vain. Our students must see the results. It is funny we thought we are in a democracy. I assure Nigerians that we know what the law says about the strike. Our job is statue-backed. We are not threatened. We do not trust the government. The record of the government is clear. This government is dishonouring agreements. Our members are resolved to pursue this to a logical conclusion”.
A text message from UI ASUU to staff reads inter alia: “ASUU is not making any new demands as the Minister is propagating. Government is only repeating a ‘one- act play’ scripted by the IBB dictatorship in early 90s. It didn’t work then, and, it won’t work now! ALL BRANCHES are intact. We cannot be intimidated!! UNITED WE BARGAIN, DIVIDED WE BEG!!! Aluta Continua”.
Ajiboye said members of the union will be going to bury Professor Festus Iyayi this week, noting that they will be waiting to receive their sack letters from the Minister when they return.
“We addressed the letter to the President, not Mr Wike. The Minister started disparaging the letter. They should not brutalise us. Trying this method smarks of insincerity from government. They don’t want you to have laboratory, they want you to receive lectures on the window. If ASUU could withstand Babangida, not this government will threaten us. We have walked this road before. The only thing that will work is peaceful resolution. It is sad that government wants to sack us because we are asking for the resolutions. We are ready to be sacked but government should learn from UNILORIN experience. We are going to stay the course,” Ajiboye said.