The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has warned parents not to endanger the lives of their wards by sending them back to school, as the country’s public universities will remain shut until government accedes to lecturers’ demands.
Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter of the union, Segun Ajiboye, said in a statement on Sunday that the union is determined to pursue the issues at stake to a logical conclusion and cannot be intimidated by the federal government with threats of sack.
“Don’t risk the lives of your children and wards. Keep them at home because ASUU will not teach. Soldiers and the police deployed by the Federal Government will not teach. Wike can come and teach in the universities. It is a huge joke to sack lecturers. Our strike must not be in vain. Our students must see the results,” Ajiboye said.
He said that the federal government was only playing out a script written by the military administration of Ibrahim Babangida in the 1990s and that if the union could withstand it then, it can do so again.
“Dear members stay calm and remain resolute. There is nothing wrong in asking government to do what it says it will do immediately. ASUU is not making any new demands as the supervising minister is propagating.
Government is only repeating a ‘one act play’ scripted by the IBB dictatorship in early 90s. It didn’t work then, and, it won’t work now. All branches are intact. We cannot be intimidated. If ASUU could withstand Babangida, this government cannot threaten us,” the statement said.
It said further: “It is funny. We thought we are in a democracy. I assure Nigerians that we know what the law says about the strike. We have worked this road before; the only thing that will work is peaceful resolution. Our job is statue backed. We are not threatened. We do not trust the government. “
“The record of the government is clear. This government is dishonouring agreements. Our members are resolved to pursue this to a logical conclusion. We are ready to be sacked but government should learn from the University of Ilorin experience.”
In a similar tone on Sunday, ASUU’s national President, Nassir Fagge, urged university teachers not to sign any attendance register and to remain resolute in their demands despite the threat of insecurity to their jobs.
“Comrades, can you see the unfolding drama? Now Jonathan says they didn’t give ultimatum. That the vice-chancellors did and Wike became their trumpet. But NUC’s (National Universities Commission) ultimatum is by the Federal Government to us to resume or get sacked. Wike’s press address says ‘FG has directed’ not ‘VCs have directed.’ Be calm, stay resolute. By God’s grace, we are on course,” Fagge said.
The supervising minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, had at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday warned that any ASUU member who failed to resume on or before Wednesday would be sacked.
Wike also directed vice-chancellors to advertise vacancies in their institutions and to open attendance registers for lecturers that resumed in their universities.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has also deployed policemen to all federal universities as a “proactive and confidence-boosting measure designed to ensure that nothing untoward happens in our academic communities.”