From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Nasarawa State chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) joined the nation-wide protest to mount pressure on the Federal Government (FG) to end the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The protest which began on Tuesday at the Total Filling Station in Lafia had members of the 32 affiliates carrying placards with different inscriptions such as, ‘FG end ASUU strike now’, ‘enough is enough’ among others, and ended at the state Government House, in solidarity with ASUU as directed by the national headquarters of the union.
In his address, Nasarawa State NLC Chairman, Comrade Yusuf Iya noted that the prolonged strike has negatively affected the education sector, keeping the students idle and vulnerable to vices that are capable of destroying the peace and security of the state and country at large.
“It is unfortunate that the government that entered into agreement with ASUU had reneged in fulfilling its part of the agreement.
“What offence have the lecturers committed for accepting to train the manpower needed to develop the country that the government is treating them as if they are not relevant,” he stated.
Iya appealed to Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State to table their position on the matter before the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) that the government should meet the demands of ASUU and pay them their withheld salaries immediately.
He, therefore, promised that the union would sustain its actions until the government resolves all issues and end the ASUU strike.
Responding, Governor Sule lauded the leadership of the union, as well as members for conducting themselves peacefully.
Sule said that the state government was also concerned about the protracted strike action of ASUU, even as he promised to present their issue at the meeting of governor’s forum for prompt intervention.
He, however, revealed that the state government was up to date in the payment of salaries of lecturers at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi in spite of the ongoing strike.
The governor reassured of his administration’s continued support to education sector, saying it was key to the development of the state and nation at large.
The Voice reports that the NLC had earlier said it will embark on a three-day warning strike after the Tuesday and Wednesday nationwide protest, in solidarity with the striking lecturers.