The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, speaks on the difficulty to resume work as a result of their pending eight months’ salary.
Recall that days ago, the union had conditionally suspended their eight-month strike following a court order to resume.
In a recent interview with Channels TV, the president of ASUU highlighted a number of reasons making resumption difficult; one of which included transportation.
“In schools those days, every lecturer lives on campus and you can trek to your office but these days, many lecturers live 20, 30 kilometres to their offices. How will they pay for their transport to work?
These are the issues we are going to have, that the branches will have to deal with. We expect the government to pay the money [eigth months salary arrers] so that these people will go back to work while we are negotiating on other issues.
We suspended the strike hoping that the government will do the needful and by tomorrow, if the universities are open, hopefully, the lecturers will go back to work.
We are resuming because we are obeying an industrial court judgement because the issues have not been fully resolved, no agreement signed.
We are also hoping that with the intervention of the Speaker [of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila], as promised by him, we will resolve this problem within a very short time.
Our lecturers will teach but you can’t expect someone who is owed eight months’ salary, maybe from his bank, he has collected more than N1m as a loan and you have not paid him one kobo and you want him to go to class and teach.
I pray they go there because of the children and do the best they can do. You don’t expect a hungry man to go there [school] with an open mind.”