The Federal Government has said the Academic Staff Union of Universities has no justifiable ground for another strike.
But ASUU accused the government of evolving tactics to divide its ranks instead of addressing its grievances.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; and ASUU Chairman (Bauchi Zone), Prof. Lawan Abubakar, said these in separate interviews with our correspondent.
Nwajiuba, who spoke on the timing of the fresh strike barely four months after calling off its 10-month action on December 23 2020, said ASUU was free to canvass its position from time to time concerning work related issues.
He, however, added that the Federal Government had not reneged on any agreement.
He said, “There is no agreement that government has reneged on, everything we are doing is within the resources and ambit of government.
“There is no time that ASUU will be on strike that will be justified. Countries don’t go on strike because of the benefit of a few because one strike could cause destruction in the lives of others.
“When people ask for their rights, it is up to the Federal Government to continue to engage them. We are going to continue to engage them. We don’t expect anybody to always pronounce strike to more or less frustrate other people. The people you are hurting are your fellow citizens.
“In as much as the government would continue to respond to other people, I don’t think that the way to demand for anything is by placing burden on the rest of the citizens and the students who may not be in a position to reason along with you or can’t do anything.”
But Abubakar blamed the government and the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for trying to frustrate the lecturers in order to implement the Integrated Payroll and Personnel System.
He said, “There are pending issues and principally, the long and short of it is that the office of the AGF is frustrating all agreement that have been reached with the government. The office does not let go the issue of IPPIS in the universities because of the imminent gains they are recording individually and collectively there.
“The sincerity is not there. We have raised issues with people concerned and and it depends on the way they handle the matter. But it (next strike) is going to be very bad, honestly with our students fully on ground in all the campuses.
“These are just few people sabotaging it (agreement) and trying to throw these students out of the campuses again.
“Our issue with government is not only the IPPIS, but that is the main thing; they don’t want to let go. Because of that, they are evolving tactics to divide our ranks because there are people that have stayed for more than one year without salary and there are people that are getting salary.”