By James, Michael Igiri
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has proscribed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) chapter of the Kogi State-University (KSU), Anyigba, for failing to call off its seven months’ strike after the state government reportedly met 90 per cent of its demands.
Bello announced yesterday after an emergency State Executive Council meeting that all academic staff of the institution resume work or be deemed to have resigned their positions.
According to him, lecturers have been paid their outstanding salaries and therefore do not have a justification to continue with the strike.
He was particularly distraught with the way the university management had handled the situation and therefore them to find competent replacements for all crucial vacancies, including those who left or may wish to leave, pursuant to the proscription.
“In effect, the school’s Governing Council, management and the Ministry of Education are, hereby, directed to start the process of employing all categories of academic staff.
“The Kogi State government notes, with dismay, that the government, with all appeasement, was unable to bring ASUU to a middle ground. That government, by its conservative estimate, and in the interest of stakeholders, has met at least 90 per cent of ASUU’s demands. But it refused to recognise industrial relations as work in progress, and insisted on continuing its strike indefinitely.
“The strike has had negative impact on the students. The government is forced to believe that ASUU-KSU and its members, for no justifiable cause, have deliberately persisted in the breach of their responsibilities as employees of the state government.
“The government, hereby, makes proclamation and declares activities of ASUU in KSU proscribed, effective from today July 19,” Bello added
Meanwhile, a cross-section of students- most of whom have remained around campus- as well as parents, have lauded the governor’s action. Some have even started moving into the school, hoping that academic activities will begin soon.
Reports from some quarters however reveal their are many concerned individuals who have questioned the right of the a state governor to proscribe the local arm of legally constituted union such as ASUU saying that the body is a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to which Nigeria is a signatory.