From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Chapter, has dismissed the claims by the Minister for Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, that its medical lecturers have jettisoned the ongoing strike action and resumed back to work.
Speaking at a press conference held in Sokoto, its Branch Chairman, M. N. Almustapha, said the Minister’s utterance was an attempt to divide the union through creating an unsavory relationship between the medical lecturers and other members of the union.
Almustapha, while recalling an interview granted to Arise TV by Ngige on July 14, said the minister “misinformed Nigerians about the actual state of the ASUU-FGN reconciliation efforts”.
In the interview, Almustapha quoted the Minister to have said thus: “So today, they have written, their Vice Chancellor has approved that they are at work.
“The labour controllers in those states have also confirmed that they are at work and I have advised the finance minister and they are processing their payments.
“Sokoto has graduated their medical students, they are reasonable people, they have tested the strike, and saw that it produces no result, yes they did it the last time.”
But ASUU chairman, however, described the minister’s statement as “a political and moral insensitivity of Dr. Ngige through inhumane concoction of lies against ASUU, UDUS.”
He said the entire members of the ASUU-UDUS branch, including the College of Health Sciences were “fully on a total and comprehensive strike” which commenced on February 14, 2022, and had never had the intention of calling it off until the Federal Government “wakes up to its responsibilities”.
“Contrary to the claims of Dr. Ngige, there is no letter written by the Vice Chancellor of Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto or any his representatives depicting that medical lectures are not on strike to any agency of government from UDUS.
“The university has not graduated any student since the commencement of the strike action in February 2022,” Almustapha added.
The Union leader alleged how the Minister has been misinforming President Muhammadu Buhari about the industry action embarked by its members.
He however called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, take necessary action and call “the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, to order “before his lies plunge Nigeria into serious crisis”.