Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has proscribed the activities of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the state’s owned university (KSU), Anyigba for failing to call-off its seven month old strike action after government had reportedly met 90 percent of its demands.
Bello, who made the proclamation on Wednesday in Lokoja after a decision reached on the matter by the state executive council, directed all academic staff of the institution to resume normal academic activities immediately or deemed themselves to have resigned from the employment of the state government and the university.
The governor said that the lecturers have been paid up to date and that there was no justification for them to continue their industrial action.
He ordered the management of the institution to take immediate steps to find and engage suitable replacements for all crucial staff vacancies including those that have left or may wish to leave and all those who are deemed to have left the service of Kogi State University pursuant to the proclamation.
“In effect, the Governing council of the university and the management of KSU and the management of the ministry of education are hereby directed to immediately start the process of employing all categories of academic staff,” he said.
Bello also directed all the relevant security agencies in the state to be on the look-out and live up to their responsibilities to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the ban.
He explained further that ASUU-KSU’s activities related to their strike of about seven months have obstructed and disrupted provision of essential services in education, “thereby occasioning psychological trauma and irrevocable loss to the lawful recipients.”
“The Kogi state government notes with dismay that government with all appeasement has been unable to bring ASUU to a middle ground.
“That government by her own conservative estimate and in the interest of stakeholders, very importantly the students, has met at least 90 percent of their demands.
“That ASUU-KSU has refused to recognise industrial relations as work in progress and had insisted on continuing its strike action indefinitely. The strike has had negative impact on the students.
“The Kogi government is forced to believe that ASUU-KSU and her members for no justifiable cause have deliberately persisted in the breach of their responsibilities as employees of the Kogi State Government working in an institution providing essential services, which is education.
“Accordingly, the Kogi state government hereby makes proclamation and declares all activities of ASUU in KSU proscribed effective from today July 19, 2017,” he said.
Meanwhile, efforts to get the comments of the KSU-ASUU’s chairman, Dr Daniel Aina on the development proved abortive as his line was not going through.
However, an official of the union who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to do so, said the Union was yet to be communicated on the said proscription, adding that appropriate action would be taken in due course.