BY James Ojo
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) have threatened to boycott work over the federal government’s decision to withhold their salaries.
ASUU has been at loggerheads with the government over its decision to pay members half of their salaries after the union’s eight-month strike ended.
The federal government had insisted that the union members would not be paid for the period the strike lasted, citing its ‘no work, no pay’ policy.
At a congress on Monday, UNILORIN ASUU members threatened to declare ‘no pay, no work’ if the government maintains its stance.
In his remark, Moyosore Ajao, the varsity’s ASUU chairman, warned that the federal government’s position will trigger a fresh crisis in the education sector.
Ajao, who was represented by Abdulganiyu Olatunji, UNILORIN ASUU secretary, said the looming crisis will “surpass all previous ones”.
“Gentlemen of the press, let me assure you that our union is resolved to continue to call the attention of the government to its responsibilities despite the obnoxious treatment being meted out to us by the government. To this effect, though we have resumed work in our university, the government’s ignoble stance of withholding our eight months’ salaries, which is based on its ill-advised policy of ‘No work, No Pay’ is set to trigger fresh crises,” he said.
“In the coming days, the union would respond by considering invoking the ‘No Pay, No work’ policy and would abandon the works that have accumulated for those periods which the government has falsely claimed, through Chris Ngige, that our members have not worked.
“It is pertinent to note that, before any industrial action, the union would have given a series of warnings. Therefore, Nigerian stakeholders should understand that not to heed the warning of the union is to risk unpleasant consequences.
“Thus, members of the public are hereby sensitized and put on notice again that a fresh crisis, which would surpass all previous ones, is looming again in Nigeria Universities as our members cannot and would not continue to do free work that would not be remunerated. We hope that with this notice, all relevant stakeholders, who have the ears of the government and would act fast before the fragile peace restored on our campuses’ nationwide collapses.
“Our union and its members should not be held responsible for the consequences that its actions, in response to the crude wickedness of the Nigerian state, would have on all stakeholders.”