By Sumayyah Olapade
The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday said it would not call off its strike until the salary arrears of its members were paid.
The university lecturers also stated that if the Federal Government did not pay for the “period of strike,” they would not teach students to make up for the six months they had been on strike.
Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, the union’s national president, stated this in response to a statement by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, that the Federal Government would not concede to ASUU’s demands for the backlog of salaries withheld during the period.
On February 14, ASUU began a one-month warning strike, according to reports. The union, however, has extended the strike several times in the last six months.
Other organizations, including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, followed suit, closing public universities across the country.
On Thursday, Adamu told State House correspondents that the government would not pay the lecturersduring the strike.
In response to the government’s stance, Osodeke stated, “He is joking. We will not teach those students if they do not pay; we will not make up for that time. We will begin a new session in 2022/2023. We will not hold exams; instead, we will begin a completely new session.
“Lecturers are not doctors who believe that once life is gone, it cannot be restored.” For lecturers, we can still pick up where we left off and continue teaching them to make up for lost time. However, if they do not pay, we will not compensate for the lost time. We will not return to fill backlogs; instead, the schools will begin a new session in 2022/2023. Exams and the time lost will not be taught.”
“If they want to do ‘no work, no pay,’ we will also do ‘no pay, no work,’ he added. We will not teach the backlog if they do not pay the backlog. We are not like other employees. He has no idea what he is saying.”