Dr. Deji Omole, Chairman of the University of Ibadan (UI) branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, declared that those leading Nigeria lacked integrity.
Dr. Omole, who noted that there was no other way of describing a government, which signed a Memorandum of Action (MoA) in 2017 and failed to implement it after a year, added that while the ongoing strike painfully affects all stakeholders, ASUU resorted to it when lobby and consultations failed.
The UI ASUU chairman noted that mushrooming universities without funding was responsible for low global ranking of Nigerian universities.
He said the union would continue to agitate for the interest of the downtrodden, whom he said, the Dr. Wale Babalakin-led Federal Government renegotiation team tried to shortchange by attempting to introduce tuition fees in public varsities.
“When you are dealing with people that are irresponsive and irresponsible, you must continue to agitate. For as long as it would take this government to fail to listen to the voice of reasoning, ASUU will continue to stand with the people. Before 2009, we had agreement in 1992 under Ibrahim Babangida and another one under Olusegun Obasanjo.
“It took us three years to sign the agreements, so nobody arm-twisted the government. The fact is that all governments have been unfaithful to Nigerians and the future of its youths. If they don’t know how to solve the problems, then they are not fit to be in government. How can a government claim to have integrity but signed MoA in 2017 and fail to implement it? It speaks volume about the integrity of those in government.”
The ASUU boss said that the union is interested in having a university system that is worth the name and not poorly funded structures that stand as universities in Nigeria.
He said lecturers duly deserved their earned academic allowances since the Federal Government refused employing new lecturers, forcing one lecturer to teach about 300 and sometimes more students as against the benchmark set up by National Universities Commission (NUC).
The UI ASUU chairman said that earned allowances is a right for those teaching excess number of students, adding that it was not a privilege.
“Let us bring the university to a standard we can say we have a university. We are no longer interested in half baked.“