The Alliance of Nigerian Students Against Neo Liberal Attacks (ANSA) has said the Federal Government’s threat of 'No Work, No Pay' against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike is the "highest form of insensitivity and irresponsibility".
This was contained in a statement by the organisation on Saturday, in which it accused the Federal Government of "destroying public tertiary education in Nigeria".
ASUU had commenced an indefinite strike on November 4, 2018 to demand proper funding of Nigerian universities.
However, a a memo dated Thursday, November 29, 2018 sent by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to University Vice Chancellors had noted that the Federal Government would enforce the 'No Work, No Pay' rule on the ASUU members.
Meanwhile, ANSA condemned the move by the Federal Government, stating that it is "a bad indication".
The statement read: “The attention of the Alliance has been drawn to the threat of 'No Work, No Pay' by the FGN to the striking lecturers, ASUU. We regard this 'empty threat' as the highest form of insensitivity and irresponsibility of the Buhari-led APC Government. This, to us, poses a bad indication that the FGN is seriously ready to destroy the public tertiary institutions. It is so bad a government is dealing with intellectuals in this draconian manner.
“The use of all manners of violent approach to engage teachers who have been dedicated to their jobs and patriotic enough to call the attention of the government to the rotten state of the public tertiary institutions is uncivilized and absurd to say the least. This action of the government we find very insulting to our lecturers who have displayed more patriotism than both Buhari and all anti-people political office holders joined together.
“We vehemently condemn this 'BOKO-HARAMIC' approach of the government of the day to murder the intellectual capacity of our dear nation and expose us to more economic and political tsunami, instead of working to make up this sector where it has massively failed.
“It is important to know that education is the only way a serious minded government can build its intellectual property viz-a-viz the economy. That is the reason UNESCO sounds that Nigeria and other developing countries earmark at least 26% budgetary allocation to education sector.
“Importantly, we also enjoin the ASUU, COEASU, and ASUP to immediately begin to unite these struggles, form a united front just like the Joint Health Staff Union (JOHESU) with the students' movement and declare a National Day of Mass Actions to ensure that we unitedly and collectively save the public education from these attacks of neo-liberalism.
“We hereby reiterate our position that the Federal Government of Nigeria immediately and unconditionally honour the agreements with ASUU, COEASU and other striking Unions for their demands are our demands.
“We are fully in solidarity with the striking lecturers until the FGN meet the demands of ASUU and Nigerian students. We call on the mass of students to join the mass action called by ANSA on Monday in Abeokuta to force the government to act.”