By John Michael,
December 21, 2017
Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), Benin zone, has described the governor of Kogi State, Yaya Bello, as a man “intoxicated with power and all of decency has been thrown to the winds.”
The lecturers said this while reacting to what they described as the governor’s high handedness in responding to the grievances of their colleagues of the Kogi State University, Anyigba for owing them arrears of salary for several months.
Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday at the University of Benin, Anthony Monye-Emina, Zonal Coordinator of the Benin zone of ASUU stated that particularly worrisome to the aggrieved lecturers was that “rather than address this genuine grievance of the staff, Governor Bello ignored them.
“His first reaction on the industrial action, after several months, was to issue a threat demanding for immediate return of the striking staff to work.
“When this failed, he directed the university management to open a register for staff and thereafter declared the proscription of ASUU in the state.
“He also directed the university management not to allow any meeting or gathering in the university. Indeed an attempt to hold a meeting of ASUU on the campus of the university was denied as policemen were stationed therein; with clear directive not to allow such meeting to hold.”
Monye-Emina disclosed that “some of our comrades who have refused to sign back to work have been declared sacked and are on the verge of being, if not already evicted from the university quarters which they occupy.
“The salary arrears in dispute have not been paid to date and a reign of terror suffuse the university community.”
According to Monye-Emina “these developments are condemnable and laughable.”
The ASUU chief advised the Governor “to retrace his steps in a civilised, lawful and responsible manner. He should pay the staff their arrears of salary and also pay them their monthly salary as at when due.”
ASUU affirmed that the purported proscription of ASUU in Kogi State is a nullity as the governor “has no such power under the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“We know that power, which he never expected, was given to him on a platter of gold; without labour. Yaya Bello is here by advised to grow up, stop showboating and settle down to the serious business of administering Kogi State.”