The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Sunday, once again, took a jab at the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, over his failure to resolve the ongoing crisis in the tertiary education sector in Nigeria.
According to a statement jointly signed by the branch Chairperson of ASUU, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, M.N Al-Mustapha and the branch Secretary, S.A, Sadiku, Ngige’s tenure recorded the highest number of strike actions.
The union also called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), to call the minister to order “before his lies further plunge this nation into serious crisis.”
While referencing an interview granted to Arise Television by the minister, ASUU-UDUS questioned some of the facts dished out by the minister as regards the state of medical lecturers at UDUS who according to the minister, did not join the ongoing strike by ASUU.
The statement partly read, “The attention of ASUU, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto Branch, has been drawn to an interview granted to Arise TV by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on July 14, 2022. In the said interview, he characteristically (as always) misinformed and disinformed Nigerians about the actual state of the ASUU-FGN reconciliation efforts.
“In part of his remarks, Dr. Ngige pitiably and shamefully stated, in quote “Medical lecturers are at work, they are teaching. Sokoto has graduated their medical students, they are reasonable people, they have tested the strike, and saw that it produces no result, yes they did it the last time. So, today, they have written, their Vice Chancellor has approved that they are at work. The labour controllers in those states have also confirmed that they are at work and I have advised the Finance Minister and they are processing their payments.”
“This is to categorically and unequivocally inform the public and those concerned that these are all in the imagination of the Minister. This intentional misinformation and treachery against the sensibility of Nigerians, is already known to many as the characteristics of Dr. Ngige. His manner of narrative during the interview depicts his inhumane nature and wanton disregard for truth, honesty and integrity, a character unbefitting of a Federal Minister.
The question at this juncture is, how many of such untrue statements has he told the President about the negotiations and how will he continue to tell such fabricated stories before Nigerians? What would be the magnitude of damage he has caused the education system of this nation by such ‘unstatesmanly’ comments? Is Dr. Ngige not aware that it does not add up that the said lecturers have done their job, yet they have not been paid their salaries for such job, or is he cunningly portraying his government as an unfair one?
“It should, however, be on record that such dangerous precedence of falsehood without emotion, typical of “Conciliator” Dr. Ngige has made him the worst Minister of Labour ever in the history of Nigerian labour relations. His antics, biasness and wickedness have earned him the highest number of strike actions during his tenure and have surpassed his predecessors with the highest number of unresolved disputes and conflicts. Dr Ngige, by attitude, succeeded in misleading all the critical stakeholders in the current struggle into believing that the issue at stake is unsolvable.
“He has also succeeded in degrading his professional status and the position he occupies, while his colleagues in the medical profession are doing wonderfully well, both in Nigeria and in the diaspora.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency, take necessary action and call Ngige to order before his lies further plunge this nation into serious crisis.”