The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Akure zone, has lambasted the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, for misinforming the public on the facts surrounding the industrial action embarked on by the union for the six months.
The Union from the Akure zone described the statement credited to Ngige over the lingering crisis as embarrassing and debunked the minister’s claims.
ASUU maintained that the crisis did not only centred on the government’s controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) but said their strike action was predicated on the revitalisation of the 2009 ASUU /FGN agreement.
According to the union, in a statement signed by its zonal Chairman, Prof Olu-Olu Olufayo, who said Ngige has always acknowledged this fact but expressed dismay over the Minister’s claim that the IPPIS is the only reason for the union’s strike.
Olufayo said: “Hearing the unguided utterances coming from a senior citizen who should be an epitome of honesty and sincerity of purpose, a minister who should be the pride of the nation lacking in decorum and vomiting the kind of lies and balderdash not even expected of an ordinary lame person who lacks the ethic of the profession.”
He explained that “it would be recalled that our last meeting in March, just before the lockdown of the nation due to the global pandemic, Mr Ngige declared to our team that agreement is one by which he meant that ASUU should surrender itself forcefully to the IPPIS for which the Union has volunteered on a better alternative.
Having developed and presented UTAS and even demonstrated it to leaders of government with wide applause, a disgruntled Ngige and his cohort at the OAGF sensing fruitless of their action has to embark on another round of lies that ASUU was being paid salaries even during the lockdown.
Such deliberate mouth diarrhoea arising from a slip of the brain remains highly unpardonable of a Senior Minister whose sincerity in the renegotiation exercise has always been viewed with serious reservation.
The Union said it is important for the concerned public to know that Ngige hide and seek game has never been unknown to the Union. If he is not sponsoring a group of amorphous faces masquerading themselves as National Association of Student Union, he would be organising fruitless meetings reeling out fake statistics of ASUU members who have enrolled on the IPPIS or making an ugly pronouncement on the registration of an illegal disgruntled group of academic under whatever guise.
The called on Nigerians to ask Ngige to clarify his information by publishing those whose salaries have been paid with the outstanding check-off dues being owned union since February.
“Otherwise it is our candid opinion that Mr Ngige should excuse himself from the business of government just like his fellow brother on the renegotiation exercise
“The above is premised on his lack of understanding of issue surrounding the Union’s action despite partaking in the three and a half renegotiation or how do we explain his inability to differentiate between University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and his own UNITAS version.
“Surprisingly ASUU was just setting response to a letter written to him on this issue after our March 2020 meeting on the 30th September 2020, a letter he dated September 17, 2020.
“This office of the Federal Republic must have sent it through speed crawling. This is our conviction that he seems not to know the Running’s of government and hence should please resign his appointment as the Minister of Labour and Employment,” ASUU said.