Members of the academic staff of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, NSUK, have been torn apart, following the management directive to pull out of the ongoing strike action by the Academic Union of Universities, ASUU.
Recall that Governor Abdullahi Sule had agreed to pay the lecturers their salary and earned allowances once the lecturers agreed to call off the strike.
Subsequently, the management of the university approved Wednesday, September 28 for the resumption of academic activities in the institution.
But the NSUK branch chairman of ASUU, Dr. Samuel Alu, while addressing newsmen on Friday in Keffi, described the management’s directive as a reckless one and a betrayal.
Mr Alu insisted that the lecturers would not be forced to return to the lecture theatres against their wish.
“The union is very much familiar with threats, blackmail and propaganda issued by certain quarters in respect to the struggle.
“Needless to say that we are conversant with and full of expectation of the antics to sabotage our struggle and are well prepared for it.
“For the avoidance of doubt, ASUU is one and the same. As such, ASUU at NSUK cannot be seen to operate in isolation of other ASUU branches.
“It is operating in full compliance with directives of the national secretariat,’’ said.
Mr Alu expressed dismay that the university’s management issued the directive knowing full well that ASUU had appealed against the ruling of the National Industrial Court asking its members to return to the lecture halls.
“In view of the aforementioned, forcing university lecturers to go back to class amounts to illegality and a blatant disregard for the rule of law which could be interpreted as a contempt of court.
“Reopening the university with ASUU still on strike means that the vice-chancellor and his lieutenants are the ones to teach the students,’’ Mr Alu stressed.
He expressed appreciation of the understanding and resilience of students and parents, whom, he said, had been making sacrifices for the betterment of the future and to save the education sector from total collapse.
“As far as NSUK branch of ASUU is concerned, we are in a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike.
“I am reiterating here that ASUU NSUK branch will remain on strike until the national body suspends the strike when all demands of ASUU have been met by the Federal Government,’’ Mr Alu said.
The university registrar, Bala Ahmed, issued the statement asking students to resume school.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over to demand that the Federal Government meets agreements signed in 2009.
The agreements covered the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, and the release of Earned Academic Allowances for lecturers.
It is also demanding that the Federal government should not be paying lecturers the same way it pays its other employees, using the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS.
The union is demanding that rather than use the IPPIS, government should pay its members using the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, platform developed by the universities themselves.