The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has declared that no amount of threat through the implementation of no-work-no-pay rule applied by the federal government would force its members to suspend their four months old industrial action.
According to a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti State, yesterday by ASUU, Ilorin Zone and signed by its coordinator, Dr. Ayan Adeleke, the union said owners of private universities, who had allegedly been advising President Goodluck Jonathan to whip ASUU into line through no-work-no-pay rule, were doing so for selfish motives.
Adeleke said the threat against his members for their failure to suspend the strike would not deter it from fighting to a logical conclusion.
The body, who lashed out at those advising the president to apply the rule, which he described as ‘barbaric, obsolete and inhuman’, said no amount of pressure would dissuade the union from ensuring that the federal government implemented the agreements reached with the body in 2009.
Adeleke, who is the Chairman of the Ekiti State University chapter of ASUU, expressed displeasure at the federal government’s resort to blackmail to coerce ASUU to back-down on the struggle.
According to him, this would further fan the ember of acrimony between the body and the government.
He urged “people and organisations appealing to ASUU to call off the strike to first appeal to the federal government to implement the agreements freely entered into in 2009. to also prevail."
The ASUU Chairman said the union was appealing to the President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Yinka Gbadebo, to dissociate himself from ASUU’s strike.
He said the action was the least expected from a body the academic union was trying to protect.
Adeleke assured that ASUU would thwart the alleged efforts by some leaders and cabals, who are masquerading as proprietors of private universities to stifle the public universities to expand the scope of their business empires.
He said: “ASUU is fighting for the sustenance of the Nigerian universities so that half-baked graduates will not litter the labour market while the society will come back to blame their lecturers.
“We will not succumb to blackmail. We will remain focused and insist that the 2009 agreements be implemented,” he said.