Nwafor Okafor, Awka
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) may declare full strike any moment soon in solidarity to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has been on strike since February 14 over industrial dispute with the Federal Government.
Anambra State Chairman of NLC, Mrs Chinwe Orizu, disclosed this during nation-wide ASUU solidarity protest in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Tuesday.
Addressing the protesters at Ekwueme Square junction by Enugu-Onitsha expressway after the march, Orizu said the peaceful protest was in compliance with the resolution of the congress to compel the Federal Government to listen to ASUU so that millions of Nigerian students who had been at home since six months would go back to school.
She appealed to the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to use his good offices to intercede for the university teachers in the circumstances, stating that the NLC would be left with no option than to join ASUU in the strike if the government did not resolve the lingering industrial dispute soonest.
Speaking, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik), Chairman of ASUU, Comrade Stephen Oforoah, noted that the essence of the protest was not for ASUU alone but for Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion, etc.
He said the education sector should be funded and workers at the Universities should be paid of their salaries and their entittlements.
He said, “The federal government should honour the agreement it entered with ASUU since 2009, and, to make sure there is no disparity in the implementation of the salaries of all workers in the federal university system,
commendimg the organised labour for the solidarity.
The chairperson, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UNIZIK, Awka, chapter, Dr.Uchenna Nwangwu, on his part, raised an alarm that many students of the Nigerian universities had now been forced into prostitution and other criminalities as a result of the protracted strike action of the ASUU.
Nwangwu who condemned the federal government seeming lack of concern over the manner the university lecturers strike action had kept the students at home for six past six months, stating that the country was truly under a bad leadership..