As workers in Benue State joined their counterparts across the country in solidarity protest of the strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has called on the federal government to honour its agreement with ASUU.
The workers under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress had as early as 7:30 am thronged the major streets of Makurdi, Benue State capital, in peaceful protest.
The workers took off from the State Secretariat along Otukpo road chanting solidarity songs and terminated the procession at the Government House, Makurdi.
Ortom, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Tony Ijohor SAN, regretted the nonchalant attitude of the federal government towards the future of Nigerian children.
He said, “I wish to commend the NLC for embarking on the solidarity protest. For over five months, our children have been home, and since the federal government is not doing anything about it, Benue State Government is fully in support of your action, and we will communicate to Federal Government.
“As far as we are concerned, this strike is uncalled for; it is too much. You entered into an agreement with somebody, go and honor the agreement. If they (FG) have an issue, please discuss it with them.
“We can’t have a situation whereby we lock up our universities for going to six months now. This is unacceptable.
“Let me call the Federal government that this issue of ‘no work, no pay’ should be revisited. It doesn’t make sense. This ASUU strike is not about the salary. They have so many issues. So go and address the issues.
“We are different from the federal government because despite our state varsity being on a sympathy strike, we are still paying them. Let FG borrow from Benue State. You can not just stop their salary.”
The State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Godwin Anya in his speech said that the two-day protest was part of activities lined up to compel the Federal Government to meet the agreement it entered into with ASUU.