The Academic Staff Union of Universities has called out the Minister of State for Education and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, asking him to explain how he was able to raise N100million for the party’s nomination form.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, the Chairman, ASUU Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Socrates Ebo, said the minister ought to be under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission as to the source of the money.
He said in serious climes, Nwajiba should be making some explanations to anti-graft agencies.
”It is a shame that a serving junior minister of education will boldly declare that he is starving university lecturers all over the nation for daring to ask that the education system in the country be improved.
“Truly, you can’t shame the shameless. Since when has demanding for the improvement of education in the country become an offence? This is a very sad low in the annals of our country. Indeed, charlatans have taken charge of our affairs.
“The Minister of Education should be educated that lecturers’ duties include: community service, teaching and research. As we speak, lecturers all over the country are engaged in research and community service.
“The strike is a last resort in the attempt to make a reason-deaf government improve facilities in our public universities, pay lecturers a living wage and stop the frittering away of the nation’s dwindling resources through IPPIS. What part of this demand is a crime?
“The minister who is putting up a show of pretending to attempt to lead the country should rather tell Nigerians how he came by a whooping sum of N100m to purchase his party’s nomination form when his legitimate salary is less than a million naira in a month.
“If this were a serious country, he should be making some explanations to ICPC and EFCC by now. Unfortunately, we are in a season of absurdities. Those who previously declared that no serious government would ever allow lecturers to go on strike are now not only forcing lecturers into strike but are also starving them on top of that. What an irony of history! It is well with Nigeria.”
ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.
On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government to meet all of its demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1trillion.
But the Nigerian Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the current administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
The agreement was reportedly struck in 2009.
The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).