Nigerian varsity loses 10 lecturers including professors over lingering ASUU strike

Univeristy of Calabar has reportedly lost no fewer than ten lecturers including professors over the seven-month-old Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.

Recall, some news media two days ago reported that over 21 Professors and senior lecturers have lost their lives at the University of Calabar as a result of the ongoing ASUU strike.

But debunking the report, the Chairman of ASUU at UNICAL, John Edor on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, in a statement said it is true that the union has lost some of its members during the course of the struggle, however, the number should be as high as 21.

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“It is not correct that 21 members of our Union in the University of Calabar have lost their lives as a result of the ongoing national industrial action.

“I can confirm that we have lost about 10 of our members but not all are Professors. The Professors are Gabriel U. Ntamu, Judith Otu, Udosen, Kate Agbor, Obia and other academics.”

He drew attention to what he describes as wholesome neglect and intimidation by the federal government and vowed that they will not give up on their demands before calling off the strike.

“Even as the government have refused to listen to our plights and provide conducive avenue devoid of all impediments, we will continue to cope with all losses we have had regardless. We are aware of the hunger, intimidation or court order. We are not given up on this fight. We will take it to a logical conclusion where necessary things government ought to do are done”. He added.

 The ongoing ASUU strike which began Febuary 14, 2022, has grounded academic activities in public varsities for over seven months.

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The union is demanding the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

The government had claimed to have addressed most of the union’s demands including the release of N50b for the payment of earned allowances for academic and non-academic and non-academic staff of universities but said the that the union will not be paid the arrears of the strike period.

ASUU has also insisted on not calling off the lingering strike until the arrears are settled.

Following the insistance of ASUU not to resume, the federal government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige dragged the striking university lecturers before the National Industrial Court (NIC).

The court has, however, ruled in favour of the federal government and restrained ASUU from continuing with the industrial action pending the determination of the suit.

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