Half Salary: UNILAG Lecturers and Students protest
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) affiliated lecturers at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, on Tuesday demonstrated against what they called the “casualization” of academia in the nation by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Other labor union activists, such as the Joint Action Front (JAF), a confederation of the country’s labour groups, and the Education Rights Campaign, a civil society organization, joined the lecturers (ERC).
Many students joined the demonstration while also lamenting the government’s disregard for education and the future of Nigerian students.
The demonstration happened following a special congress held by the ASUU chapter at the university to discuss the members’ bad welfare situation, specifically the withholding of the employees’ eight-month income and the pro-rata payment of October wage.
The union claimed that the purpose of the event was to “call Nigerians’ attention to Ngige and the government’s attempt to casualise the academics in Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, has accused the lecturers union of impeding discussions.
However, ASUU has continuously charged that Mr. Ngige intentionally misled the public and did more harm than good to the nation.
Students and lecturers sang in unison from the one of the university’s Auditorium named Julius Berger to the campus’s main entrance gate.
The chairman of ASUU UNILAG branch, Dele Ashiru addressed the entire populace saying that “This rally aims to raise the government’s attention to the insensitivity and purpose to spark another round of crisis in the Nigerian university system,” he said that the union embarked on a one month strike on 14th of February when the government failed to review substantial issue of the memorandum of 2013 and 2020.
The union embarked on a month strike to give the government ample time to respond to the memorandum but unfortunately the strike went from 4 weeks to 8 months and the government had launch all sorts of humiliations, hunger and also using the instrumentality of the judiciary to coarse our member back to work with court order and several interventions of meaningful Nigerian most especially the speaker of the house of representatives Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the union suspend the strike action to pave way for government to substantial address our demands.
But its shocking and sad, that after suspend the strike based on the affirmation condition the government goes against the trade regulation and paid us half salary for for October 2022 thinking that the union will commence another strike in order to put them against the Nigeria students and Nigeria people but we surprise them by coming to conclusion to embark on this one day protest in order to make our voice known to the government and the whole world and he promise that they will not allow the government to destroy the calendar again.
So in order not to go on strike we embark on this one day protest to drawn the attention of the government but it is regrettable to see that the government has used a variety of tactics, such as starvation, harassment, extortion, and using the judiciary as a tool, to force our people back to work.
To give the administration the chance to seriously consider our demands, our union called off the strike.
“We considered all the factors in their entirety and came to the conclusion that students and their lecturers’ are participants in the process of producing knowledge; as a result, we will not permit the government to again interfere with the academic schedule.”
In order to alert the government and other stakeholders in Nigeria to the fact that the administration is fanning another crisis within the Nigerian university system, we have decided to organize this rally rather than go on strike.
Chairman of council of faculty president of University of Lagos, Comrade Odeyemi who happens to be the president of faculty of Arts Student Association, National Public Relations Officer of NANS, Comrade Giwa Temitope, UNILAG ASUU Past chairman Comrade Moses Oghenakaro, ASUU chairman of University of Ibadan Branch Professor Ayoola Akinwole, Abiodun Aremu, the secretary of JAF, Hassan Soweto, the national coordinator of the ERC, and Karo Ogbinaka and Laja Odukoya, Comrade Kunle Wiseman Ajayi of the United Action for Democracy, Comrade Lateef Adamu of the Education Right Council, the first speaker of SOSSAN parliament and the immediate past chairman of ASUU UNILAG branch and currently the general officer of ASUU Lagos Zone Comrade Adelaja Odukoya and all other notable people and students of University of Lagos all denounced the government’s “oppressive” methods against the professors.
Without ASUU, university education in Nigeria would have been privatized, according to Mr. Aremu, who also noted that the private sector now oversees primary, secondary, and tertiary education in Nigeria.
All of them urged Nigeria to demand enough financing for education while simultaneously criticizing the high cost of governance.
Speaking with gistloaded, some of the students of University of Lagos Adebambo Israel, Jide Akinnagbe, Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, Moyosore Ogunkunle, Samuel Onakoya, Aliu John, Olaonipekun Isaac, Kazeem Ibrahim, Andrew Oluwadamilola etc all frowned against the half payment salary given to the lecturers by the Federal Government and they plea to the Buhari Led administration to do the needful by attending to the needs of the lecturers as this in return will have positive impact on the Nigeria Students.
Half Salary: UNILAG Lecturers and Students protest