From Abel Leonard, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday joined the nationwide protest to mount pressure on the federal government to expedite action to end the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Speaking during the procession from Total Filling Station to Government House Lafia, Yusuf Iya, Nasarawa State NLC Chairman, said the protest was in solidarity with ASUU as directed by the National Headquarters of the union.
Iya said the prolonged strike has negatively affected the education sector and kept the students idle and therefore making them vulnerable to vices.
He said that it is unfortunate that the government that entered into an agreement with ASSU had reneged in fulfilling its part of the agreement.
“What offence have the lecturers committed for accepting to train the manpower needed to develop the country that the government is treating them with as if they are not relevant.”
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He also appealed to Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State to table their position on the matter before the Nigeria Governors’ Forum that the government should meet the demands of ASSU and pay them their withheld salaries immediately.
The NLC chairman promised that the union would sustain its actions until the government resolve all issues and end the ASUU strike.
Addressing the protesters, Gov. Sule lauded the leadership of the union as well as members for conducting themselves peacefully.
Governor Sule added that the Nasarawa State Government is as concerned about the lingered strike as the NLC is and promised to table their issue at the meeting of the Governors’ Forum for prompt intervention.
He explained that the state government is up to date in the payment of salaries of lecturers at the Nasarawa State University Keffi, despite being part of the ongoing strike.
He promised to continue to give priority to the education sector because it is key to the development of the state.
Daily Sun reports that members of the 32 affiliates were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions such as “FG end ASSU strike now”, “enough is enough”, among others.