The Academic Staff Union of Universities has accused the federal government of deliberate attempts to deprive Nigerian youth of access to quality education.
This is stated in a statement jointly signed by the chairman, Muhammad Sani Gaya and the secretary, Murtala Muhammad of ASUU, Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, and made available to journalists on Wednesday.
The union noted that the government’s body language and antics were indications that the government was out to completely destroy education in the country, especially tertiary education.
“We are willing and determined to continue to endure the torture and negative media campaigns against our struggle to liberate ourselves, the young and emerging generations of Nigerians from the deliberate attempts to deny them access to quality and affordable education.
Indeed, education is the only weapon that can change society, denying our youth education is tantamount to destroying the nation. The DPO’s intention to destroy university education in Nigeria must be vehemently opposed,” the statement said.
The union said the use of hunger to force ASUU members to indefinitely suspend the strike has failed in the past and is now certain to yield fruitful results.
“To be clear, the union is resolute, determined, focused and ready to continue the fight to save Nigeria’s public universities from imminent collapse.
“Unfortunately, the FG is blessed with enough wrong people in the right places. Strangely enough, the education minister, Adamu Adamu, is ignorant of the university system and dilettante with the primary duties of an academic staff. The public may notice that under laws establishing universities, an academic staff is used to teach, conduct research, and provide community service. So when ASUU went on strike, only the education part stopped, so imposing “no work, no pay” is not appropriate and does not legally apply to academic staff.”
According to the statement, the union’s demands are not selfish, but altruistic.
“As a group of intellectuals, our union demands a repositioning of our universities for greater efficiency in national development and technological advancement.
“Also massive and sustainable funding for our universities; a reversal of the apparent decline in the university system; and, improved and competitive pay for overworked academic staff in Nigerian universities.
“Nigerians should join ASUU in asking the federal government to follow the path of honor by respecting the agreement it voluntarily entered into with our union.”
“It is paradoxical to note that while the government has recognized ASUU’s demands as sincere and patriotic, the FG led by the President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd.) lacked political will, carelessness and bad – intent to save the university system from imminent collapse due to the comatose state created by the above problems.”
“It is quite disheartening that this time ASUU has to deal with an insincere and dishonest DPO who claims to fight corruption, but is surrounded by corrupt elements whose main concern is denying citizens a fair standard of living and quality education.” said.