The deplorable state of the university system since members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike to demand that the government make good its promises as stated in the 2009 agreement the government had with the union, may even go worse as the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Tuesday threatened to commence a nationwide strike from next week.
National General Secretary of the union, Mr. Peters Adeyemi, dropped the hint in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union.
According to him, “The decision to embark on the nationwide strike is due to the fact that the members of the union had not been paid for two months despite working to keep university system running during the ongoing ASUU strike.”
He said: “NASU will start its own strike action next week because we have been working and government has refused to pay our salaries, and for us, it does not make sense to continue to keep the system running when we are not paid.”
He added: “The reason for this is not known to us. Workers in all federal universities are not paid their salaries right now and that’s a big challenge. Government has not paid our salary for August and as we are talking now, today is September 24, they are effectively owing us two months salary and there’s no way we can continue to do this work on empty stomach, while they run around the globe with heavy stomach.”
The NASU General Secretary, who said no reason was adduced for their non-payment, added, “the unfortunate thing is that they have no explanation for non-payment of our salaries.
“That’s enough patience on our part despite the fact that we have our grouse before with the federal government; that things are not running well. But we think as Nigerians and parents, we don’t have to unnecessarily ground the system. But if you take this our maturity and level-headedness to mean stupidity, them of course, people that complain that we in the university system have ruined the future of students by going on too many strikes imposed on us by government will have no reason not to understand, if we go on our own strike next week,” he stressed
Also speaking, the national president of NASU, Mr. Ladi Iliya, blamed the National Assembly for fighting on their political interest and future at the expense of welfare of Nigerians.
The NASU president, who said the National Assembly should have deliberated on issue of persistent insecurity and ASUU strike when it resume session, described the attitude of the legislators as shameful.