‘We Cannot Work on Empty Stomachs While…’ – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday reiterated it’s desire to resume work after several months strike action but only if the Federal Government pays all outstanding salaries.

According to the Ibadan Zonal Chairman of ASUU, Pro­fessor Ade Adejumo, Union members and their children are tired of staying at home, “but we cannot work on empty stomachs while politicians’ homes and warehouses are filled with palliative materials that they don’t even need”.

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Pro­f Ade Adejumo, who was represented by Prof Moyosore Ajao, Union Chairperson of UNI­LORIN, stated this during a press conference at the University of Ibadan.

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Prof Ajao maintained that the Federal Government has refused to pay up outstanding salaries and allowances, despite the ongoing negotiations.

The statement reads in full;
“We are ready to suspend the strike as our children too are tired of staying at home, but we cannot work on empty stomachs while politicians’ homes and warehouses are filled with palliative materi­als that they don’t even need.

“Let the politicians note that the interest of Nigeria and the future generations is more paramount to ASUU than the immediate gains of its members.

“That is why ASUU has been consistent in challenging the rot in the system through sustained engagements with the powers that be since the time of the military.

“The gains of ASUU strug­gles are in the changes that TETFund has been able to bring to the tertiary educa­tion sector in the country and ASUU will not relent in push­ing for a better university sys­tem in the country.

“Some people have been wondering why ASUU is on strike again. The simple an­swer is that ASUU is on strike because of the survival of the university system where many of us still have our chil­dren as students, since we cannot afford sponsoring our children abroad with our mea­sly salaries as politicians do.

“ASUU is on strike in or­der to restore the past glory of public universities and address the infrastructural decay and deficit in our in­stitutions.

“ASUU is on strike for the legitimate dues of its mem­bers who are the least paid in the tertiary education sub-sector.

“For the sake of empha­sis, the truth that will shock many Nigerians, which is available for verification, is that chief lecturers in some tertiary institutions, who are not required to super­vise postgraduate students or conduct research, earn more than professors in our lopsided education system.

“At this stage of the strug­gle, Nigerians are urged to compel government to re­lease the withheld salaries of our members, remit the check-off dues of the union to the rightful owner, pay us the same way it had paid our arbitrarily handpicked members without subjecting them to IPPIS registration, and speed up the process of testing the integrity of UTAS so that it may be deployed for payment, beginning from January 2021.

“The road may be tough, the burden is huge but ASUU remains committed to saving our public universities and not making them suffer the lot of our public schools. This is our stand and we stand firm.”

Representatives of schools under the Ibadan zone, Professor Moyosore Ajao (Unilorin), Professor Ayo Akinwole (UI), Dr. Femi Abanikanda (Uniosun), Dr. Biodun Olaniran (LAUT­ECH), and Dr. Dauda Adesola (KWASU) were all present at the conference.

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