Striking lecturers at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on Wednesday received relief materials, including food and money to enable them to cushion the effect of the ongoing industrial action.
The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities of the institution, Dr. Mohammed Kabir-Aliyu, who confirmed this to one of our correspondents, said the offer would help the beneficiaries to survive the hardship occasioned by the non-payment of their salaries.
According to him, lecturers in the university have not earned their salaries in the last four months.
Among items distributed to the lecturers were rice, semovita, vegetable oil and cash ranging from N20, 000 to N50, 000.
Kabir-Aliyu said they were ready to call the Federal Government’s bluff concerning the sack threat.
University teachers nationwide embarked on strike on July 1 to force the Federal Government to honour an agreement it had with them since 2009.
The Supervisory Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, had last Thursday threatened the striking lecturers to return to work on or before December 4 or face dismissal.
However, the resumption deadline was on Tuesday extended to December 9 to enable the striking teachers to honour Prof. Festus Iyayi, who died on his way to attend ASUU NEC meeting in Kano.
As of Wednesday, there were no signs that the striking lecturers would comply with the government directives to return to the classroom on Monday. Also, the university authorities had yet to issue a circular directing students to return for lectures.
Meanwhile, the National Parent-Teacher-Association of Nigeria has asked the striking teachers to see the extension of the resumption deadline as a sign of goodwill from the Federal Government.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday, the NAPTAN North Central Coordinator, Alhaji Danladi Aliyu, said the extension showed that the government was committed to ending the strike.
Aliyu said, “I am pleading with both parties not to see this issue as a war that must be won or lost as both are working in the interest of moving the nation forward.
“ASUU should use this deadline extension to resume duties, while we also urge the Federal Government not to come down hard on them.”
In a related development, Nnamdi Azikiwe University branch of ASUU has ordered its members that signed the attendance register to delete their names from the book.
Also, the management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has directed its students to resume on Sunday.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of OAU, Mr. Biodun Olarewaju on Wednesday said, “The authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have announced Sunday, December 8, as the resumption date for the 2012/ 2013 rain semester.
“Accordingly, students of the university are expected to come into residence on the above date as lectures will commence immediately.”
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