ABUJA – The Middle Belt Movement for Justice and Peace, MBMJP, has appealed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to prevail on the Federal Government to keep its side of the bargain with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, by paying their outstanding salaries to enable them fully return to classes.
The group warned that the news of the lecturers receiving half of a month’s salary in October as against the half of the eight months’ salaries that were to be paid to the lecturers in line with the truce brokered by the Speaker, is capable of truncating the agreement that took eight months to reach.
Convener of the MBMJP, Joe Bukka who weekend was reacting to statements credited to university lecturers who severally expressed shock that they were not paid their salaries as agreed during peace talks brokered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, urged the government to listen to the yearnings of Nigerians and pay the lecturers to avert the total collapse of Nigeria’s public universities.
The Bukka opined that the failure of the Federal Government to meet its obligations to the lecturers could lead to the collapse of the fragile agreement which would compel the lecturers to down tools again.
According to him, “it took eight months to get the lecturers to call off their action and the truce was reached when the Speaker of the House of Representatives stepped in. We want to appeal that we must not allow that agreement to collapse due to failure of government to meet its commitment.
“We cannot continue to toy with the education of our children in this manner. The government should please pay the lecturers in line with the agreement reached before the action was called off.
“We also appeal to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to step into the matter and ensure that the backlog of eight months salaries were paid to the lecturers so that our public universities where children of the masses receive education are not shut again.
“Our children have all returned to school with excitement that they would continue with their studies only to receive the shocking news that their lecturers have not been paid as such they would not be receiving lectures. It is frustrating and annoying and it is obviously counting again this government and the ruling party, especially in an election year.”