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“ASUU members are thieves for demanding money they didn’t work for” —Education Minister Lament

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Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, has compared members of the striking Academic Staff Union University, (ASUU), to thieves for demanding money they did not work for.


Opia who was reacting to one of the demands of the union that the Federal Government should pay them a backlog of six months salaries to cover the period they have been on strike, said only thieves will want to get paid for not doing anything.

The Minister made the assertion on Friday while delivering a lecture at the Federal University Lokoja, (FUL), Kogi State, and said, ‘the no work no pay policy’ adopted by the government is still effective and that the government would not shift its stand regarding the demands by ASUU.

Opiah expressed his dismay at the lingering strike by ASUU, and said the Federal Government has done its best to resolve the issues raised by the union but that the union has been adamant to call off the strike.

“The Federal Government cannot pay lecturers for what they did not work for. Only thieves demand to be paid without working.

“The Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has done so much, especially, in infrastructural development in our tertiary institution, because anywhere you go, you will see the presence of TETFUND, buildings, vehicles and all manners of institutional assets.

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“Those who think that lack of infrastructure is one of the reasons they went on strike should think again.

“Our country’s image is going lower. Our parents are not happy, and these lecturers are also parents of some of our students. Contrary to what they think, some of us also have our children in Nigerian Universities and they are also suffering.

“Although, if we stay on strike forever, it means our children will be out of school forever. It is not in our own interest.

“Except that, now that ASUU wants to be paid for all the six months that they were absent from duty. And the Federal Government is saying no we cannot pay for those days you did not work. For once, let us activate the principle of no work no pay which is natural. It is only a thief that goes to eat where he didn’t work.”

The Education Minister added that instead of ASUU maintaining its stance, they should rather beg the government to reconsider its stand.

“And so if there should be any appeal for Federal Government to do otherwise, Lecturers should come back to the classroom to beg and appeal and renegotiate because this thing is no longer funny.”

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