Hunger: ‘You’re Pushing Nigeria Towards Anarchy’ – ASUU Warns FG

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Kano Zone, has warned President Bola Tinubu that the country is drifting towards anarchy and chaos due to untold hunger and starvation among the Nigerian populace.

The union warned that the government’s adoption of the neo-liberal policies of the IMF and World Bank would in no time plunge the country into serious anarchy and uncertainty.

The coordinator of ASUU, Kano Zone, Dr Abdulkadir Muhammad, stated this during an emergency press conference at the end of a zonal meeting comprising the seven universities in the zone on Wednesday in Kano where contentious issues were discussed by the Union.

According to Muhammad: “We, as intellectuals, will not join in the current protests across the country, but rather, we will team up with civil society organisations and NGOs to compel government to drop the policies.”

He said further: “We will use all available legal means to compel government to drop these anti-people IMF-World Bank policies, because the nation, whether you like it or not, is drafting gradually into anarchy while the President and his teams are making excuses.”

ASUU also called on the President to faithfully implement the content of the agreement it freely signed with the union, describing it as the only way to end strikes in Nigerian universities.

Issues in the agreement include the renegotiation of the Federal Government-ASUU 2009 agreement, which was reached when the exchange rate to the dollar was N146.7, which currently has risen above N1,700, a development the union said has eroded their salary by 90 per cent.

He said further that ASUU lamented the refusal of the Nigerian government to sign a draft agreement reached with the union, even after changing the leaders of the negotiation committee several times.

“Therefore, ASUU calls on the President Tinubu-led administration to immediately set in motion the process of upward-reviewing and signing of the Nimi Briggs Committee’s renegotiated draft agreement as a mark of goodwill and to forestall industrial crisis and restore hope for Nigeria’s public universities,” Muhammad stated.

He confirmed that ASUU members have started receiving partial payments of their seven-and-a-half-month withheld salaries while calling on government to pay the remaining balance.

In the same vein, the Kano zone ASUU called on the Kaduna State Government to immediately and unconditionally pay the withheld May to September 2022 salaries of staff of Kaduna State University.

Among other issues, they also called on the government to urgently review the Nigeria University Commission, NUC, Act to check the proliferation of universities in the country in the absence of adequate provision for funding.