The Academic Staff Union of Universities in Calabar has said the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige, and that of the Accountant General of the federation, Ahmed Idris, comments was insulting.
The Coordinator of the Zone and senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Uyo, Dr. Aniekan Brown, said this at a media briefing in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday.
Dr. Brown said the comments from high ranking officials would not hasten the pupose of the union crisis but delay the process.
He alleged that the Minister of State for Education asked University lecturers to resign and join the farming profession if they did not like their job.
He emphasized that the Minister should apologise to members and Nigerians.
He said, “The Minister of State for Education, in a blaze of a National Television rather on a disparaging note, asked our members to join the farming profession, and as well callously stated that any of our members who did not want his job should resign for others who are eager for the job.
“He was also reported to have quoted non-existent figures concerning our members’ enrollment on the IPPIS. Such expressions are, the least to say: very unbecoming of someone employed to manage the education sector in our country, and insulting on the sensibilities of our members. The best the said Junior Minister could do is to apologize to our members and Nigerians.
“Another sad development is the threat from the Minister for Labour and Employment, which could best be explained in the context of “hangover” of the military rule. He should be reminded that he is dealing with academics in a democracy. His role is that of a conciliator, not an advocate for any group.
“In the same bracket is the Accountant General of the Federation, whose prevarications speak for the disposition to the concealment of facts. That top Civil Service office has illegally, coercively, and deceitfully attempted to migrate our members into the IPPIS.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the Government has failed to satisfactorily address the issues. Here lies the testament that Government is determined to make the gates of our universities remain closed.”