Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife organised a peaceful demonstration against the half-salary payment to Nigerian lecturers by the Federal Government in October.
Lecturers in Nigerian Public universities have also protested the pro-rata basis on which their October salaries were paid and the government's refusal to pay their salaries for eight months while they were on strike.
The affected lecturers after their monthly congress marched around the university's premises to prompt the government to prioritise education.
They were seen bearing placards bearing inscriptions such as “Lecturers are not slaves”, “Invest in Education”, and “A nation that values education is a nation that develops”, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the lecturers, the chairman of OAU-ASUU, Tony Odiwe expressed disappointment in the government for paying half of their salaries after they called off the eight-month strike.
“We are not troublemakers, we are a union of intellectuals. The latest insult to our union is the payment of prorated salaries to our members. For us, it is a distraction, our issues have nothing to do with half salary payment or no work, no pay, we have pre-issues why we went on strike,” he said.
“We were on strike for eight months and those issues are still there. The government has not addressed them, even those that were addressed, were not attended to absolutely,” he said.
Odiwe urged the government to complete the payment of their salaries and quit frustrating the lecturers.
“The government must do the needful. We are not casual workers, they should not turn us into one. We must be paid fully. What we expected from the government after we called off the strike is that the government should show that good face to us by starting with a full one-month salary to show that they are sincere and ready for us to dialogue,” he said.
“When we are employed our condition of service is not solely on teaching, we have three components including research and community service. We only withdrew one of the services which is teaching,” he added.
He further called for the sacking of the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige by the government, noting that the lecturers are more interested in doing what is right and not in the minister.
“We are not interested in who the minister is, we are interested in doing what is right. If Chris Ngige is not doing what is right or turning it into a personal issue then the government should remove him.
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