Bayelsa blames ASUU over varsity strike, warns students against protest

Posted by News Express | 20 July 2016 | 2,326 times

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The Bayelsa State Government has called on students of the Niger Delta University (NDU) to blame their lecturers for the continued closure of the institution, as government has done its part to end the strike.

The advice came following reports that some students of the University were planning to take to the streets this Wednesday to protest the delay in reopening their school. 

A statement issued on Tuesday evening by the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, called on NDU students not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to breach the existing peace in the state.

He explained that, after series of meetings with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), the government released their January salaries and was also willing to pay them the 50 per cent salaries of April, May and June.

This is to bring them at par with other Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the state.

He said instead, they decided to discuss the proposal in their general congress before taking a position. Obuebite explained that after a meeting, which held precisely on Thursday, June 23, 2016, ASUU was to get back to the government by Wednesday of the following week on the resolution of its Congress, with a promise to suspend the strike, but never did.

He said to the surprise of the government, ASUU‎ rather presented a fresh demand two weeks later, requesting the government to pay them their full salaries from February to June, noting that, it was unrealistic and unfortunate, while describing it as a setback to the government's efforts at gradually clearing their outstanding salaries.

The government warned genuine students of NDU not to be part of the miscreants, who are waiting to be used as students for the protest to breach the peace in the state, stressing that, the‎ security agents have been put on red alert and anyone that, runs foul of the law will be arrested and  prosecuted.

Obuebite also called on parents and guardians to caution their children and wards against being used for the planned action. According to him, dialogue between both parties have been yielding results, a situation that prompted ASUU to agree to call off the strike, as contained in a previous joint statement, but wondered why they have been foot dragging.

He said it was becoming highly suspicious, while equally restating the government’s total commitment to the welfare of students and workers in the state.

•Photo shows Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson.

Source: News Express

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