FUNAAB lecturers protest, condemn payment of half salary
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest against the casualization of lecturers by the federal government and the payment of half salary to university lecturers.
The lecturers who were cladded in their academic gowns, were armed with placards and marched round the campus singing anti-government songs.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “Teachers teach the nation, but Ngige cheats the teachers”, “ASUU to FG: Academia cannot be casualised, teaching is not a casual endeavour”, “Buhari stop Ngige from jeopardising the future of Nigerian students” and “Hold anti-poor Buhari responsible for wasted eight months”.
Addressing the congress earlier, the Chairman of ASUU, FUNAAB branch, Dr. Oluwagbemiga Adeleye called on members of the union not to be distracted by the antics of the government, but rather remain united and resolute in fighting the injustice being melted out to them.
Adeleye described the casualisation of university lecturers as a form of modern slavery and the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to Nigeria’s education sector.
He accused the federal government of using the judiciary as a weapon to inflict more pains on members of the union.
Adeleye described the President Muhammadu Buhari – led administration as a “deaf and dump” government which had failed to prioritise education and refused to take the welfare of lecturers serious.
He said, “This (casualisation of university workers) is the most embarrassing state of the academia in Nigeria, it has never been this worse, it has never been this bad.
“Judiciary is no longer the hope of the common man, the judiciary is now being used to inflict more pains on the common man.
“We are in an era where we have to be united more than ever before to press home our demands. The leadership of the union directed that this congress and protest rally should be held across all the branches in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the National Treasurer of ASUU, Prof Olusiji Sowande, disclosed that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to declare a three-day warning strike if the federal government fails to address the casualisation of lecturers.
He blamed the protracted crisis between ASUU and the Federal government on the insensitivity of the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige.
On his part, the former ASSU Chairman, Professor Ighodalo Eromosele, said the eight months unpaid salaries may affect promotion for time in rank, loss of service and broken service.
He added that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige is acting a script of the of the President, Finance Minister.
According to him” Ngige diminished and demystified academics. It is also a crass display of ignorance of the work schedule of an academic, also betrayed on the call on the union to return to the classroom.
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights ( CDWR) coordinator, Me John Nikolas called the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to declare 48 hours warning strike in support of ASUU’s Demands.