The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is set to embark on a one-day nationwide protest rally over the implementation by the Federal Government of a “no-work, no-pay” policy for lecturers in the country.
The protest will be organised at the branch level of the union across public university campuses nationwide and it will take place as a free-lecture day for all lecturers who are members.
The chairman of ASUU, University of Lagos (UNILAG) branch, Dr. Dele Ashiru, confirmed this to Nigerian Tribune, on Sunday.
According to him, every university where ASUU has members has been directed to choose a day within the week to hold a special congress and also go on protest rally within their campuses.
He said UNILAG-ASUU had fixed Tuesday, November 15, for its own rally.
He said the aim of the protest rally is simply to draw the attention of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to ASUU’s strong dissatisfaction of the Federal Government’s attempt at casualisation of the academics in the country by using ‘no-work, no-pay policy’ to remunerate them.
He insisted that university lecturers are intellectuals and professionals and cannot, therefore, be treated like casual workers.
Ashiru pointed out that just as other lecturers in other branches of ASUU would do, all members of ASUU, UNILAG branch, are also expected to attend the congress and participate fully in the protest rally.
He said casualisation of academics, who are intellectuals by any reason is totally alien to the academic system anywhere globally.
According to him, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, wants to prove that he knows more than every other person in the world but we will show him that his attempt to cage the lecturers, particularly from engaging in unionism would never come to pass as far as Nigeria is concerned.
Meanwhile, in a memo by the branch to members of the union and obtained by Nigerian Tribune, the union asked all concerned stakeholders to come out on Tuesday for the rally, saying “A people united can never be defeated.”
Also, some rights activists including Abiodun Aremu, who is the Secretary General of the Joint Front Action; Hassan Soweto, the National Coordinator of Education Rights Campaign; Giwa Yisa Temitope, the Public Relations Officer of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), and Victor Odeyemi, among others are been billed to address the gathering.
Recalls that the Federal Government paid only half salary for the month of October to the public university lecturers, who had been on industrial action for eight months and returned to work on October 14.
The half salary payment, the lecturers believe, was the handiwork of the Minister of Labour and Employment, who had been vowing that the Federal Government would implement “no-work, no-pay” policy for the lecturers then