The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said the Federal Government’s December 4 ultimatum issued to universities teachers to return to the classrooms is a clear indication that the government is not committed to implementing any of the resolutions it reached with the union.
While reacting to the threat of the Federal Government to sack the lecturers if they fail to call off their five-month strike by Wednesday nest week, ASUU National Treasurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, said the union was shocked that the government could have such plan when there was a shortfall of 60,000 lecturers in Nigerian universities, owing to the government’s failure to employ enough teachers.He added that the threat would not hinder the union’s determination to ensure that Nigerian universities were well funded.
He said, “It is a pity if the Federal Government is not willing to perfect the resolutions reached with the union. This is why we find it difficult to trust our leaders by their words. How can someone be threatening to sack lecturers when universities are already short-staffed by almost 60,000? We are not in a military era. The military tried it and failed. This one will fail again. They can re-open the schools. ASUU did not shut the universities; it was the school management that ordered the students to go back home.”
ASUU added that the FG was wasting the time of Nigerians and youths in the country by failing to perfect the resolutions so that classes could resume in the schools.Making reference to the failure of the government to honour the agreements it entered with resident doctors and health workers after they suspended their strikes, the union said it had reasons to be wary of the government, adding that the threat was an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians who were waiting for the government for a positive reaction.“With the latest action, the government has shown that it is not committed to all it has been saying. We are saying that since we agreed at the meeting that the sum of N200bn is for 2012 and 2013 revitalisation, the government should deposit same in the Central Bank of Nigerian. We are already in November and December is around the corner. If they don’t do that now, when do they want to do it?” Aremu said.