Teachers in the nation’s public universities on Monday vowed to continue with the strike, declaring that the attempt by the Federal Government to withhold their salaries would not stop their action.
They also described a section of the National Association of Nigerian Students distancing themselves from the strike as “politically motivated students.”
The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Abuja chapter, Dr. Clement Chup, stated this in an online interview with our correspondent.
The Federal Government, by withholding their salaries, he said, would not make them to abandon their cause.
He said, “Yes, the non-payment of our August salary is another attempt by the government to stampede us into breaking the strike, and as usual, it will not work. The economic war the government is employing has never, and will never yield any dividend.
“Our next line of action is to continue with the strike. We had, on July 2, commenced a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action, and as long as the government does not meet our demand of implementing the FGN/ASUU 2009 agreement, the strike will continue.”
On comments by the leadership of NANS that the students were no longer supporting the strike, Chup said those making the call were “political and mercenary students.”
“The NANS that say they do not support us are the mercenary students. They are the political, non-matriculated students. Our genuine students do understand the issues that warranted the strike, and are fully in our support.”
Chup, an associate professor at UNIABUJA, also alleged that the Governor Gabriel Suswam-led NEEDS Assessment Committee was only interested in awarding contracts in the universities.
According to him, the committee is arbitrarily awarding contracts to the governing councils of the universities without considering the peculiarities of the schools.
He added, “The committee is merely giving letters of award to the governing councils and intends to handle the contracts, not minding the peculiarities of the universities.
“The question to ask the governor is, why insist on going ahead with the implementation of the projects when the committee has yet to agree with the principal party involved’? I think the Suswam committee was only interested in awarding contracts.”