By Faith Igbudu
President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, has said the union will not respond to media allegations on issues about it until it is officially communicated to them.
He stated this in reaction to the statement in the media, credited to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, saying lecturers will not be paid for work they did not do.
He stated this Wednesday at the Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi (JOSTUM), as the ASUU branch held a Special Congress in honour of their member Prof. Richard Kimbir, after the completion of his tenure as the 6th Vice Chancellor of the institution.
The president also commended all vice chancellors who stood by the union in the fight for the sustenance of public universities in Nigeria.
He particularly thanked Kimbir for upholding the interest of the union throughout his tenure and urged other VCs to emulate such laudable steps.
“You have saved our nation so much money. Until you came into office, there was no day that we didn’t send a delegation to this school to resolve intra union problems,” he said.
While commending the VC, Osodeke stated that the union needs to remain united for more struggles.
“And for the branch, we still have a problem that we must tackle. Issues of eight months, poor funding and poor application of the funds,” he stated.
According to the president, the fight between ASUU and the federal government is a fight for the survival of the universities and must be sustained until victory is won.
“It is not just between ASUU and government. It is about who takes over the tertiary education system. ASUU has stood as a stumbling block against the total privatisation of universities which is what the government wants,” he maintained.
Reacting, Kimbir said he is overwhelmed by the show of love and ecomiuns poured on him. He said his success should be attributed to God, as well as a good and supportive university council.
He thanked ASUU for the honour done him and assured the union of his continuous support.
He lamented that the federal government does not understand the pain of the union, saying that the government is rather going all out to cut off its survival channels and encouraged them to keep up the fight.
Earlier, Chairman, ASUU-JOSTUM, Prof. Simon Ejembi, who opened the floor with a welcome address/ good will message said the Kimbir will always be remembered as one who prioritized the interest of staff and students.
He said during his five year tenure, there was no internal wranglings, protest or strife between unions in the school and the management.
Members of the union took turns to x-ray his administration which they summed up as successful.