President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has blasted the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, over his attitude toward the strike embarked by university lecturers.
“What the Minister of Labour has done is a complete insult to the character of people like Professor Nimi Briggs, Senator Chris Adighije, Professor Olu Obafemi,” Professor Osodeke, said during an appearance on Channels TV Programme on Thursday.
“The minister instead of looking for how to resolve the problem is busy abusing his colleagues, abusing even the Minister of Education.”
The ASUU President’s comments mark the latest development in the impasse between the Federal Government and the union over its strike which has kept university students at home since February 14.
Speaking o the programme,Professor Osodoke said “It is so sad that we have gotten to a stage where our children are lamenting at home and the Minister of Labour is busy churning out fake information and misinforming the public, trying to undermine the integrity of ASUU,” he said.
He challenged Dr Ngige to show Nigerians proof of a claim that his delegation was walked out of a meeting with ASUU members.
The ASUU President said Ngige resorted to fake news having failed to force the striking members to call off the strike by withholding their salary for five months.
ASUU had on February 14, 2022, embarked on industrial action, accusing the Federal Government of failing to meet its demands.
Some of the demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the ASUU-FGN 2009 agreement, deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of salaries and allowances of lecturers, and the release of the white paper report of the visitation panels to universities among others.
The situation has forced the government from paying the striking lecturers their salaries even as they insisted that the industrial action will be called off once their agreements are met.
On Wednesday, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, said it was unacceptable that Nigerian Universities remain closed after so many months.