By Faith Igbudu
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Benue State University chapter (BSU) have called for the sack of Ministers of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and that of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, in order to save education in Nigeria.
This was part of the display on several placards as the union on Tuesday carried out a peaceful protest against the payment of lecturers on a “pro rata” basis.
Addressing fellow protesters, Chairman of the union, Dr Victor Tarnongu, said it is enough of the federal government taking Nigerian universities for granted, saying ASUU will continue to kick against any policy that is not people friendly.
He faulted the government’s decision, saying the idea is ill advised and unjust. He said lecturers are fully employed and not casual staff as such can not be on ‘daily pay’.
He further accused the federal government of wanting to kill the university system in the country by such barbaric policies, saying the public universities are the only hope for the poor to acquire education but that Nigerian leadership wants to kill that hope.
Tarnongu, however, commended the Benue state government for not towing that line of pro rata payment but said as a branch of the union, BSU-ASUU frowns at the policy.
He further hinted that the union will not stop at the protest but that further actions regarding the policy will be arrived at during the National Executive Council meeting of the union (NEC) in the first week of December.
“Our branch of the union is protesting against the casualization of lecturers by the federal government. We believe that university lecturers are on tenure appointment so you can not pay people on tenure appointment based on the days the have worked.
“The federal government is being very insensitive to the plight of university lecturers in this country and our branch of the union is saying no to that obnoxious policy of pro rata payment of university lecturers” he said.
In another development, ASUU branch, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University Makurdi (JOSTUM) carried out a similar protest at the university premises kicking against pro-rata payment of lecturers.
According to the Chairman, Prof. Simon Ejembi, the federal government should “as matter urgency release the backlog of our withheld salaries and do all other things necessary.”
He said more actions are in the pipeline, noting that the rally is just one option.