Let the teachers breathe, don’t suffocate us, ASUU tells Tinubu

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Nsukka Zone, has stated that it does not share the joy of one year in office of President Bola Tinubu due to the unfulfilled promises of the administration.

Addressing journalists on Friday at the Benue State University, Makurdi, the Zonal Coordinator, Raphael Amokaha, who decried the insensitivity of successive administrations in dealing with the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU, said that their expectations were much higher than the current reality.

Some of the breached agreements, according to Amokaha include; poor financing of the country’s universities, violation of university autonomy, particularly in the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System, non-payment of accrued academic allowances and withholding of four months of salary.

While acknowledging the president’s willingness to review the appointment of the recently published university governing councils, the union advised the president not to view it as patronage for political loyalty.

Amokaha noted that contrary to President Tinubu’s promise that the era of strike in Nigerian universities was over, the ASUU zonal boss said: “Unfortunately, we are on the verge of a strike.”

He added: “The government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is about to complete one year in office. Unfortunately, our union members do not share the joy of celebrating the first year.

“Our expectations were much higher than the current reality. Once again we cry out to the President: let the lecturers breathe! Don’t suffocate us!!

“The draft of the renegotiated 2009 agreement must be signed and implemented immediately, although it may need to be examined before signing it now so that what is agreed now is proportionate to the hyperinflation ravaging our country.

“The balance of the eight months of salary withheld and owed to our colleagues must be paid immediately. They have now done the job in full and to make matters worse, the value of eight months’ salary is now barely worth two months’ salary at that time.

Amokaha went on to say: “Membership on governing councils requires notable and upstanding personalities with experience in university administration.

“It is therefore not appropriate for personalities like Professors Attahiru Jega, Olu Obafemi and Munzali Jibril to be disposed of in the name of dissolution or reconstitution of the councils without recourse to decorum.

“Appointments to university governing councils should not be seen as patronage for political loyalty.”

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