…urges Nwajiuba to apologize to ASUU, Nigerians
By Chioma Onuegbu
CALABAR zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Tuesday lambasted the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris for concealing facts regarding the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS.
The zone which spoke in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital through its Coordinator, Dr. Aniekan Brown of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Uyo (UNIUYO) also criticized the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba for threatening professors to join the farming profession or resign.
Brown who described the actions and comments by some highly placed individuals in government over the ASUU strike as misleading, and insulting stressed that it became necessary for the Union to address to keep the media and the general public posted.
He stressed that ASUU would continue to reject the IPPIS platform and expressed their committed to ensuring that the integrity of the University system in the country is not taken for granted.
His words, “It is common knowledge that fifth columnists and agents of imperialism have taken upon themselves to fan alternative truths and paint the genuine struggle of our Union in bad light. You are aware of the recent vituperations from some highly placed individuals in government.
“For instance, the Minister of State for Education, in a blaze of a National Television rather on a disparaging note asked our members to join the farming profession, as well as callously stated that any of our members who did not join should resign for others who are eager for the job.
“The union is not against farming, but when an occupant of a high office as Minister of State for education will out of ignorance express that professors, should leave their specialities and go to farming is a case of insult. He was also reported to have quoted non-existent figures concerning our members’ enrollment on IPPIS.
“Such expressions are the least to say very unbecoming of someone employed to manage the education sector in our country at that level. And it is insulting to the sensibilities of our members. The best the Junior Minister could do is to apologize to our members and to Nigerians in general.
“In the same bracket is the Accountant General of the Federation, whose prevarications speak for the disposition to the concealment of facts. That top Civil Service office has illegally, coercively, and deceitfully attempted to migrate our members into the IPPIS platform
“A careful analysis of his expressions and actions on the unpaid salaries of our members would point to double-speaking and insensitivity to the plight of our members who are also breadwinners to their respective families”
Dr Brown noted that another sad development waa the threat from the Minister for Labour and Employment, which according to him could best be explained in the context of “hangover” of the military rule.
He stressed that Ngige should be reminded that he is dealing with academics in a democracy, therefore his role should be that of a Conciliator, and not an advocate for any group.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that Government has failed to satisfactorily address the issues. Here lies the testament that the Government is determined to make the gates of our universities remain closed”, He stressed.
Chairpersons from the Universities in the zone which comprises Abia State University, Akwa Ibom State University, University of Calabar, Cross River University of Technology, Alex Ekwueme University in Ebonyi state were also in attendance.