Lecturers from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University have withdrawn from the nation-wide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday in the institution, spokesperson for the lecturers, Prof Osita Chiaghanam said it was impossible for them to sustain the strike in view of the peculiarities of the university.
He said insisting on the strike was risky as it would further expose them and members of their families to hunger.
He said, “We have our peculiarities. We are not funded by the Federal Government. Our salaries are paid through Internally General Funds. So, our students must be in school and pay their school fees for our salaries and some other things to be done here.
“As part of the national struggle to salvage university education in Nigeria, members of ASUU COOU heeded the national call for both the warning strike and subsequent indefinite strike action as declared on 23′ March, 2020.
“However, recent events in our great university have precipitated a long chain of actions and reactions capable of short-circuiting the aspirations of responsible unionism which ASUU stands for. “
Accusing ASUU leadership of the institution of misleading the public, Chiaghanam urged its Chairman, Prof Okey Aniebo to take the part of honor by stepping down to pave way for the management to carry its good works.
He said, “The university was recently portrayed in public domain for utterly wrong, misleading and malicious reasons germinated and propagated by certain individuals claiming to represent ASUU COOU.
“The appropriate thing to do in the circumstance is for the ASUU leadership led by Prof Okey Aniebo to step down and allow the management of the institution to continue its good works, especially the regular pay of workers’ salaries and general welfare of staff.”
The ASUU Chairman of the university, Prof Okey Aniebo had raised the alarm over alleged threats to his life and job following his refusal to yield to management’s pressure to pull out from the strike.
Aniebo said, ” 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.
“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 education.”