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ASUU Blasts Education Minister Over Comment On Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday in Ibadan lashed out at Minister of State for Edu­cation Emeka Nwajiuba, over what it described as a reckless and irresponsible comment that the union is “mean and wicked for shutting down uni­versities.”

ASUU chairman Univer­sity Ibadan, Prof Ayo Akin­wole, in a release stated that lecturers in Nigeria have sac­rificed their labour, sweat and health “only for parasites in government to come and de­stroy common heritage and collective patrimony.”

Nwajiuba, in an inter­view with a national news­paper, had said that, “there is nothing that they (ASUU) are doing or asking for that is wrong. What we’ve consis­tently asked is that the gov­ernment and the people of Nigeria will continue to look into the matter because if you disrupt academic sessions because of entitlements you would eventually get the en­titlement but we would have lost the time our children would have used in learning. You are being mean. There is no point in disrupting every­body’s life because you have not got your money.”

While reacting to this, Akinwole said the Minister represents one of the decep­tive and insincere characters of the Buhari administration.

According to him, it was a sign of acceptance of failure for a Minister to admit that they have been irresponsi­ble by pleading with a union to bury the welfare of her members and not fight for infrastructure face-lift for the children of the masses and new salary for the welfare of her members.

The ASUU boss, who challenged the Minister to make public his salary and allowances, also asked him to tell Nigerians how much he is owed by the govern­ment since he became Min­ister.

Akinwole said the Minis­ter should cover his head in shame for heading a ministry where the budget to educa­tion has regressed since his assumption of office, saying, “this government fails to real­ise that not funding education adequately is itself influenc­ing insecurity in the country.

“ASUU has become very tolerant and tolerates suffer­ing for the sake of students and Nigeria. We have shown understanding but this gov­ernment has even failed to deliver on the timeline agreement we signed with this government. Nwajiuba’s claim is deceptive and un­founded. This is a deceptive government. They have set up 40 committees on our re­negotiation since 2017 and the same government is now set­ting up another committee to look into what those ones did for almost four years? They are unserious, wicked and parasitic leaders”.

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