VCs Deny Giving Ultimatum As ASUU Advises Parent Not To Send Students Back On Campus
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU seems not moved by the federal government’s sack threat as there has been no indication so far that lecturers would return to classrooms before the December 4 deadline.
Although some Vice-Chancellors have recalled their students, whether the lecturers would turn up for classes remains to be seen.
The Presidency, however wouldn’t go soft on the lecturers despite pleas and criticism from different quarters on the sack threat, as it accused ASUU leaders of treachery and warned the university lecturers not to dare the resolve of government to carry out its threat if they failed to resume.
Supervising Minister for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike last Thursday gave the lecturers a seven-day ultimatum to resume from their five-month strike or risk being sacked. President Goodluck Jonathan, however, clarified, weekend, in Bayelsa that the Federal Government did not give the ultimatum, stating that it was given by the Committee of Vice Chancellors, whose decision was only made public by the minister.
Secretary-General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Professor Mike Faborode, however denied the claim that his committee gave the ultimatum, passing the buck to the Committee of Pro-Chancellors.
ASUU meantime said no academic activities would resume until the Federal Government perfects and implements resolutions reached with the union.
Reacting on President Goodluck Jonathan’s denial that he never issued any ultimatum to the union, the National President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge and University of Ibadan chapter of the Union, ASUU described it as laughable.
Fagge said: “Comrades, can you see the unfolding drama? Now, Jonathan says they didn’t give ultimatum; that the Vice Chancellors did and Wike became their trumpet; But NUC’s ultimatum is by Federal Government to us to resume or get sacked. And Wike’s press address says “FG has directed, “NOT”VCs have directed”Be calm, stay resolute. By God, we are on course”
Speaking in the same vein, UI ASUU chairman, Dr. Segun Ajiboye asked parents not to risk the precious lives of “our students by releasing them, saying no lecturer will teach them.
“Don’t risk the lives of your children, keep your children at home because ASUU will not teach. Soldiers and the police deployed by the Federal Government will not teach. Mr Wike can come and teach in university. It is a huge joke to sack professors. Our strike must not be in vain. Our students must see the results. It is funny; we thought we are in a democracy. I assure Nigerians that we know what the law says about the strike. Our job is statute backed. We are not threatened. We do not trust the government. The record of the government is clear. This government is dishonouring agreements. Our members are resolved to pursue this to a logical conclusion”
In a text message to its staff on the state of things, UI ASUU said; “Dear members, stay calm and remain resolute. There is nothing wrong in asking govt to do what it says it will do immediately. ASUU is not making any new demands as the Minister is propagating. Government is only repeating a ‘one act play’ scripted by the IBB dictatorship in early 90s. It didn’t work then, and, it won’t work now. All branches are intact. We cannot be intimidated!United we bargain, divided we beg!!!Aluta Continua.”