The Academic Staff Union of Universities has expressed dissatisfaction with the directive by the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, that lecturers of the state university, who join the ongoing workers’ strike in the state should be dismissed.
The Chairman of ASUU, University of Port Harcourt branch, Dr Austen Sado, described the governor’s recent actions in connection with the ongoing workers’ strike in Kaduna as a display of ignorance and arrogance.
Sado, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, expressed surprise that the governor could declare the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, wanted for alleged economic sabotage.
He said, “El-Rufai was presented to Nigerians as the purest of the technocrats in Nigeria right from the time of General Olusegun Obasanjo. I think based on that, he feels that he knows more than everybody. It is a big shame that somebody like El-Rufai would claim that he is sacking people.
“He is even saying that lecturers should sign a register and bring it to the Commissioner for Education or the Commissioner for Finance on a daily basis. You can imagine that level of ignorance by a governor, who ought to know the application of the law.
“He has just shown how ignorant he is and Nigerians should understand that these people, who claim to be the elite in this society, know little or nothing. Can you imagine the level of arrogance that El-Rufai has exhibited in the way he has managed the affairs of the state?
“His level of arrogance is beyond understanding. Labour is asking for engagement and he is not engaging labour. You heard him say he has given an order for Ayuba Wabba’s arrest.
“If El-Rufai stands a popularity contest with Wabba in Nigeria, does he stand a chance close to Ayuba Wabba? Does he know what it means to be the president of a labour centre?
“Nigerians should begin to see that these people are gambling with the management of this nation. They are all gamblers and we should treat them as gamblers, because they do not understand the implications of their actions.”
On the threat to sack lecturers of the Kaduna State University, the UNIPORT ASUU chairman pointed out that it was wrong for governors to interfere in matters concerning university staff discipline.
According to him, the university is being administered by the Governing Council and the government cannot have direct interference in its day-to-day administration.
“If for any reason, there is a staff member who misbehaves in the university, it is the responsibility of the governing council to discipline the person and not the governor,” Sado stressed.