The Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, has faulted the Nigerian government’s decision to enforce the “No work, no pay” policy on the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
Sowore, who spoke at the presidential town hall organised by News Central TV on Friday evening, insisted that if the Nigerian government must enforce the “no work, no pay” policy, the enforcement must start from President Muhammadu Buhari, because he barely worked.
While fielding a question on the government’s insistence on enforcing the no work, no pay policy on ASUU who embarked on strike for eight months and how he could handle it differently, the human rights activist and #RevolutionNow convener maintained that Nigerian workers must be paid when their industrial action was based on a just course.
Sowore said, “When the strike is just, you will have to pay the strikers. They didn’t want to do this, it was the government that forced them into it.
“If you want to start the enforcement of not paying the people who are not working, I think the President should be number one because he barely works. And the truth is that these are the things that escalate the problems. You can’t keep escalating the problems by engaging in things that made them.
“Our higher institutions are too important to be played with the technical part of laws. Let’s put the money they asked for. They are specific about how much they want. Let’s find the money and give it to them. Their demands have been the same since the 1990s.”
He maintained that education was too important and that even though it could be said that education was expensive, it was not as expensive as it was seen compared to its importance in the society.
Recall that ASUU went on strike on February 14 this year over the government’s failure to meet its demands including improved funding for government-owned tertiary institutions in the country.
The strike which lasted for eight months ended on October 18 but while the university lecturers expected the government to pay them for the period they were on strike, the government has insisted on enforcing the “No work, no pay” policy, hence, the lecturers were paid half salary for the month of October.
This has also generated another nationwide uproar as ASUU has threatened to embark on sit-at-home if the federal government fails to pay them full salaries, source reports