The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik) Chapter, Awka, Anambra State, on Thursday, barricaded the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, protesting the part payment of their October salaries, backlog of 8-month salaries and other working conditions of its members, which they said are still under the Federal Government promisory note.
The Paradise News gathered that the protest, kick-start at the Union Secretariat Unizik, down to the University gate by the Enugu-Onitsha highway, where the road was barricaded by the protesters for some minutes as one of their ways to informed the public about their working condition.
Speaking to Journalists, shortly after the protest, Comrade Stephen Ufoaroh, the chairman of ASUU-Unizik, said that the aim of the protest was also to remind the Federal Government to implement the agreement it enter with ASUU, after the Union suspended her 2020 industrial action.
He demanded that the Federal Government should considered the re-negotiated document of the 2009 condition of services of it members, payment platform for Universities workers to all public Universities in Nigeria, improvement of funds to education sector especially, for public Universities, the white paper publication of the Judicial panel report to various Universities to enable us to no what the reports are all about and the Federal Government should enact a law to control proliferation of State Universities by the State Government without proper funding.
He said “As I speak to you, the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, has not earned any positive result. We are yet to see the outcome of his intervention.
“What the Federal Government has been saying all this while is still under promising note.
“We suspended the strike because of individuals intervention and the Court of Appeal Judgement.
“We are using this protest to asked the masses to appealed to government to do the needful now, to avert further crisis in the nation’s universities,” Ufoaroh concluded.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charles Esimone, in his solidarity message, said his heart is currently bleeding because of the deplorable condition the Lecturers are working under in Nigeria education system.
According to the VC, Nigerian Professors salary is currently less than 500 dollars. That is terrible. The Government knowns that in terms of knowledge and human capacity, Nigeria lecturers can not be compare to other places in the World. So why should they be subjected to this can of deplorable condition they found themselves,” he asked?
While declaring 100 percent support for the ASUU course, Prof. Esimone, assure the Lecturers that the University Management under his leadership will not take their welfare for granted.
He also assure the Lecturers that he will minutes their demands to the Varsity’s governing council, which in turn the governing council, will make a strong statement to the Federal Government for urgent consideration.
The protesting members were with placards with different inscriptions such as; Nigerian Professors salaries is less than 500 dollars, no to commercialisation of Nigerian public Universities, stop casualization of Nigerian Academics, among others.