The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday said the Federal Government was afraid youths might take to the streets in protest against the ongoing industrial action by its members, and thus, was employing blackmail to force lecturers back to class.
The ASUU, Akure Zone, however, declared that no amount of blackmail would make it end the current industrial action unless its members were paid their salaries while urging Nigerians to intervene in the impasse in the interest of the students.
It also said the government was not interested in ending the strike and acceding to the demands of the striking lecturers.
On March 23, 2020, ASUU declared a “total and indefinite strike” over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action and over the lingering crisis on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
The union had brought forward five contentious issues in the 2019 MoA which are; revitalisation fund for universities, outstanding earned academic allowances, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, proliferation of universities, particularly by state governments and establishment of visitation panels to universities.
The IPPIS crisis had joined in around October 2019, after the union berated the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for threatening to withhold the salaries of its members.
ASUU had also insisted that it had an alternative model to IPPIS, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which it urged the Federal Government to adopt for the universities.
Addressing newsmen at the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, the ASUU coordinator, Akure Zone, Prof Olu Olufayo, noted that the Federal Government had stopped negotiation with the lecturers until the recent eruption of violence during #EndSARS protests.