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”.