The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Federal government of attempting to impose master-slave treatment on its members under the posture of leadership.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the National President of ASUU made the accusation in a statement after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which took place at the University of Calabar, Cross River State.
The council refused the government's indirect move, saying: “NEC rejects with vehemence, the current attempts to impose master-slave treatment as a mechanism for relating with Nigerian scholars under whatever guise by the ruling class. ASUU members are citizens, not slaves.
“Finally, NEC appreciates the resilience of our members and their families. Their understanding and perseverance, in the face of hardship and provocation occasioned by the government’s intransigence and insensitivity shall be rewarded by posterity.”
The President, in the statement, also rejected the government's proposed educational loan, arguing that it is an attempt to stop funding public universities in Nigeria.
“NEC observed with concern the systematic disengagement of government from funding of Public Universities through the proposed introduction of education loan which has proven to be a monumental failure in our nation and some other countries where it was introduced.
We find it troubling that the proponents of the policy are so eager to foist it down the throat of Nigerians when they have done more to push the working people of this country into poverty through sheer incompetence in handling the economic fortunes of our nation.“
It added that the government's attempt to trivialise the job of the lecturers was reviewed and criticised during the meeting.
“As reflected in the pro-rated salaries paid to our members for the month of October 2022, as well as the continued withholding of our member’s salaries for the preceding eight months, even when the backlog of the work is being covered by our members in various universities,” it said.
Osodeke, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians to "prevail on the Nigerian government to urgently address all outstanding issues contained in the December 2020 FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Action" "in the interest of our students and the nation."
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