Don’t blame us if varsities are shut down again, ASUU warns
Accuses state govts of proliferating institutions
The Akure Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday, warned that its members should not be held responsible if the campuses are shut down again due to alleged recalcitrant attitude of the Federal Government.
The ASUU, therefore, urged the student body, traditional rulers, market women, and other stakeholders in the educational sector to remind the Federal Government of the danger its refusal to listen would pose for the system.
“Of course, we will have no choice. It is not that we are happy embarking on strike unnecessarily, but it appears that it is the only thing that makes government act. Let these stakeholders join us to warn the government that we are tired of failed promises,” he said.
The lecturers, who were led by their Zonal Co-ordinator, Prof. Olufayo Olu-Olu, during a press conference at the campus of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, mocked the Federal Government over the alleged claim that revitalisation fund meant for public universities had been kept at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“ASUU will not be surprised waking up with the news of another ‘snake swallowing the money’! This is the more reason it is necessary to ask government to release the money as a stitch in time saves nine,” Olu-Olu said.
Warning of looming industrial action, the ASUU Akure Zone, comprising lecturers in public universities in Ekiti, Ondo, and Osun, said that if the government behaved lackadaisically as usual, “we will have no choice but to go on strike.
“We can avoid this needless strike. Our people are falling down and dying, must we wait till we all die? Enough is enough! If this government cannot do it, they should step aside and allow those that can do it to come in,” they said.
On the proliferation of universities, the ASUU accused state governments of turning the establishment of universities into mere constituency projects.
“It is true that ASUU fought for funding and the revitalisation of public universities in Nigeria. This is with the aim of equipping our Ivory Towers with adequate resources (material and manpower) to make them compete favourably well with others around the globe.
“Unfortunately, leaders in government, especially state governments, have started abusing this by the proliferation of universities, thereby turning establishment of tertiary institutions into constituency projects,” they said.
The lecturers alleged that many state governments had not spent a dime on capital projects in their respective universities in 10 years, adding that payment of salaries has been abysmal.