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We Won’t Let Chris Ngige Make Fun of Us, ASUU Chairman

The Federal Government has been urged not to consider its members as temporary employees by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) branch at Federal University of Technology, Minna.

This was said at a demonstration in Minna on Friday by the union’s chairman, Gbolahan Bolarin, who referred to the payment of half salary to university teachers as humiliating.


Bolarin stated, “This is sad and degrading to us. Our members were compensated for the amount of days they had worked.


“FUT Minna has decided to vehemently oppose efforts by the minister of labor and employment to undermine our public universities under any pretext and to reduce Nigerian academics to temporary employees. Nigerian professors are among the greatest in the world, therefore we won’t let Chris Ngige make fun of us, he said.


In addition, he pointed out that Nigeria and academia were both insulted by the professors’ half-pay.


Insisting that the union will do everything to oppose the government’s intentions, Bolarin said that the administration was driving lecturers to the point where aggressiveness would transfer to defenseless students.


Shuaib Yahaya, president of the institution’s Students Union Government (SUG), also gave a speech during which he said that everyone was responsible for ensuring the sustainability of the Nigerian university system, not only the teachers.


He said that the SUG joined the demonstration to support the lectures and that they would do everything it took to guarantee that their professors get better treatment.


“We are in favor of ASUU’s decision, and we will shut down everywhere they go. The authorities should prepare to execute us all, he said.


Professors at the Federal University in Lafia, Nasarawa State, have demanded that Dr. Chris Ngige, the minister of labor and employment, be fired immediately.


Adam Abdullahi, the institution’s ASUU chairman, said during a protest, “The purpose of this protest is to urge the Federal Government to remove Chris Ngige as Minister of Labour and Employment for his handling of the ASUU strike and the impact of that strike on the Nigerian educational system.


“The demonstration is also to demand that the FG give us the salary they have withheld. The education minister has likewise fallen short. We are not hourly laborers; they compensated us according to our job. We object to pro rata (paying), which is the casualization of the academic labor.


“The government need to pay attention to our demands and comply with them. Before the strike, we presented a number of requests, none of which have been satisfied.


“Whenever the government owed money, instead of paying it, they declared an emergency, and we are refusing to support this. Therefore, due to all of these, the institution’s academic programs will be suspended today (Friday), and we may continue if nothing is done to address our demands.


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