Dr Muhammad Sajo, a University lecturer, has accused “anti-ASUU people” for casting aspersion on the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), “out of ignorance of the university system”.
Mr Sajo, a lecturer with the Department of English and Literary Studies, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, UDUS, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Sokoto on Sunday.
Mr Sajo said: ”The anti-ASUU people’s sheer ignorance of the ASUU struggle itself, or based on their envy of the ample opportunities the global university system accords academics which others out of the system don’t have.
“However, time will tell when ASUU retires to the pursuit of mainly its members’ welfare packages.
“Hence, leaving the public with the government to protest the imminent exorbitant tuition fees likely to be imposed on the system,” he said.
The don added that a section of ASUU members differed within the union in the area of emphasising on the pursuit of members’ welfare, rather than facing the fight ”which isn’t theirs.”
“Nigeria’s degree programme is the cheapest globally and save for corruption which impedes the nation’s growth.
“The country can afford to give free university education or sustain its subsidy to especially, children of the masses which is the main reason for the ASUU’s struggles.
“People should note that the current ASUU strike is the mother of all strikes which we support because, it is the one which specifically encapsulates members’ welfare package.
“This is from the little stipends being on the payroll for over a decade,” he added.
On the ‘no work, no pay’ slogan by the government, Sajo said ”many people speak ignorantly by supporting the position on the matter.
“This is not knowing that academics don’t eat free salary, no matter how long they stay off the class due to the strike.
“If ASUU agrees on the position, about 5 sets of students from undergraduate to postgraduate levels won’t graduate.
“For those who aren’t aware, an academic in the system is employed to render three services: teaching, research and community service.
”During ASUU strike, only one of the three is rested, i.e. the teaching component,” he said.
The lecturer further said he was of the view that not only the latest issue of the ‘no work no pay’ slogan, the entire issues can be resolved within a day, ” if there is political will by the government.
“It is a fact that since time immemorial, before any ASUU strike is suspended, the union often exhibits the gesture of shifting grounds in the interest of the public.
“However, while doing so, at the moment, ASUU’s members shouldn’t be allowed to suffer casualties from actions of certain sections of the people who are wielding the sticks of power,” he added.