Bayelsa state governor Senator Douye Diri has called on the teachers of the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU) to end their seven-month sympathy strike with the national body of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Governor Diri insisted that the union action out of sympathy by university teachers was no longer justified, as they receive their monthly salary without going to work.
He said that although the institution’s board of directors had scheduled a meeting with the union, he said the teachers should respond to the goodwill of the state government by returning to the classroom for the sake of the students.
Chief Press Secretary Daniel Alabrah was quoted as saying in a statement Wednesday that the governor said Tuesday night at a dinner honoring the victorious Bayelsa United Football Club in Yenagoa that the state government had resolved all issues between it and the institution’s ASUU.
Governor Diri noted that teachers in federal tertiary institutions may have problems with the federal government, but that was no longer the case with state institution teachers.
He said: “Let me take this opportunity to call on teachers from Niger Delta University to call off their strike. I have already given guidelines to the board of directors, which represents the government on the board of that university.
“They have been on strike for about seven months. They call it a sympathy strike because the very local issues they raised with our government have already been resolved. So they have no problem with the state government.
“About two or three months ago I met the leadership at a meeting not to continue the sympathy strike. Yes, they are all union members. However, in Nigeria, there are two tiers of government that are completely different.
“The problems lie with the federal universities and not with the state institutions. State agencies in our sister states such as Rivers and Delta did not join or cancel the strike. I would like Niger Delta University to follow suit by calling off the strike.
“You all know you can’t get a salary and you won’t work for seven months. As I said, I’ve set up the machinery and I’m sure the reasoning will prevail. NDU will resume as soon as possible so that our children can go back to school.”
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