Emmanuel Osodeke, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has said they are yet to be notified by the federal government that it does not have money to fund the union’s demands which pushed them into embarking on a strike.
Reacting to comments by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo; and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who said that it was unreasonable for the Federal Government to borrow over N1 trillion to meet ASUU’s demands, Osodee asked why the federal government can borrow money for Trader Moni, borrow money to feed school children, borrow to buy vehicles for Niger Republic, but they cannot borrow to fund education.
He told Punch;
“Do you believe the FG has no money? Is Umahi the FG? Has the Minister of Education said so? Has the Minister of Finance said so? If the person directed to resolve a matter has not said so when interlopers are saying things, who will you believe?
“When did Umahi become the spokesperson for the FG? They can borrow money for Trader Moni, they can borrow money to feed schoolchildren in schools, they can borrow to buy vehicles for Niger Republic, but they cannot borrow to fund education. We are tired too. If they want to close down all the universities formally, they should.”
When asked if ASUU would bend its demands so that the students could return to school, Osodeke insisted that the issue had to do with the government’s coming to the renegotiation table with ASUU.
“It is not about ASUU bending its demands; our demands are with the government. They should come to us with what they want. We don’t have to beg them. We agreed on something and let them send it to us. We have reached a negotiation. Let them come and tell us what they can do.”