Okey Aniebo, the chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, has alleged threats to his life amid the union’s protracted strike action and tussle with the federal government.
Aneibo spoke on Friday when ASUU’s zonal leadership visited the varsity.
According to Punch, he said he was threatened over his refusal to back out from the national ASUU strike after the university authorities had directed that the lecturers suspend the action and resume work.
“Don’t be surprised if I’m sacked any moment now. My life and job are in danger, but if they kill me or sack me another ASUU executive will spring up in this university,” he said.
“The strike is not about Prof Aniebo. It’s about saving our public universities from destruction.
“We don’t have the resources to train our children abroad or in private universities; public universities are our only hope to give our children an education.”
Aneibo also described the condition of service in the university as “hellish”. He went ahead to claim that most lecturers on the campus would have died without the union.
“Most of the projects in the university are products of ASUU’s struggle. Yet the management is asking us to abandon the national union. If we abandon ASUU, we’ll die,” the professor added.
“We have lots of internal problems that are yet to be attended to. There’s no budget monitoring committee at the university. This contributed to a waste of resources.
“There’s no retirement programme for anybody here. Some lecturers become sick when they remember their retirement is coming.”
‘We’re prepared for up to five years’ — ASUU debunks claim it called off strike
Reacting to rumours that the union has called off its strike, Ndanitsa Attahiru, chairman of ASUU at the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, told TheCable Lifestyle that ASUU is up for a long-haul.
“There is nothing like that. The strike is still on because the government has not addressed the issues on ground. There are about five issues and FG has not addressed any of them,” he said.
“We’re yet to hear from FG. FG is not calling the union for any negotiation. So the strike is very much in place. And, if the right thing is not done, I can assure you we’re not suspending the strike.
“It is not by force to run universities. If the government likes, they can tell the world they don’t need public universities anymore. If it’s ready, then the right thing must be done. That’s it.
“Academic culture is a global culture; Nigeria cannot work in isolation. We cannot be here as university dons and people in the ministry would dictate to us how to run our universities.”
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