*Says action was misguided
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Monday in Abuja strongly condemned the decision of the Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, to proscribe the Kogi State University branch of the association, describing the decision as not only anti-labour but a flagrant violation of the constitution which he had sworn to uphold.
Addressing journalist during a press briefing which he said was called to alert Nigerians and Kogi state citizens on the concern of the union on the matter, the Zonal coordinator, Dr. T. D. Lagi, condemned “the attempt by the governor to situate the state owned varsity on the part of retrogression and anarchy by proscribing the union, sealing their secretariat, obstructing congress meetings and constant harassment of union members,” saying that it amounted to mortgaging the future of Kogi state students and undermining the growth and development of the state.
The ASUU leader further highlighted the sate of neglect the university is currently experiencing to include incessant power outage and lack of needed social infrastructure as well as accumulated salary backlog of workers and academics.
He said “it is appalling and grossly disappointing that Kogi State University has become a ghost of its former self due to historical neglect and gross under funding.’’
On the claim by the state government that it had paid over 90 percent staff salary and upgraded the state of infrastructure of the university, the union said the government had only spent N371.8million out of the N1.3billion that was budgeted, while the varsity has been able to access 67 percent of TEFUND intervention fund between 2009 and 2011.
It further dismissed the claim that government had paid salaries saying that the claim is sheer fallacy and that as at June this year, 64 members of the union were still owed 14 months’ salary while some other employees of the university have not been paid for over a year now.
The union maintained that it will continue to pursue dialogue and partner with concerned efforts of Kogi state elders and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) towards resolving the impasse.
Recall that the Kogi state government had late last month proscribed the activities of the state varsity branch of ASUU after a protracted disagreement with the union.