The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has advised Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the Minister of State for Education, to with immediate effect, resign his position and return to the farm.
ASUU’s advice was in reaction to a statement credited to Nwajiuba where he told lecturers who are on strike to return to farm.
The Education minister had earlier urged university lecturers under the umbrella of ASUU to consider farming as an alternative profession.
Nwajiuba, while speaking on a TV programme, had suggested the lecturers take up farming, saying they cannot dictate how they should be paid to their employers.
ASUU, reacted by noting that the minister’s statement is a reflection of his shallow understanding of the academic profession and a reflection of the low premium that the Buhari-led government he is serving placed on education.
ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Prof. Ayo Akinwole said Nwajiuba has “displayed his naivety on educational matters.”
Akinwole said that the scarcity of farmers is a reflection of the failure of the government he is part of as they are unable to make farming secured for legitimate farmers.
“As Scientists, experts in Agriculture faculties continue to conduct research mainly with external funding or personal monies. But Nigerian government who failed to protect farmers and exposed Nigerians to excruciating poverty is not making use of research findings.
“If the Minister of State for Education is interested in farming, he should resign his appointment and stop displaying his cluelessness of the problems in the education sector. We are on a just fight to ensure that those in public offices become responsive and responsible to the masses they swore to serve. They must fund public education. We have been on the same salary since 2009. That is no longer sustainable.
“The universities are being run with personal sweats of lecturers while politicians siphon monies for personal aggrandisement. We cannot accept IPPIS that is against the laws of the land and which fails to recognise the uniqueness of academic profession and culture. We have brought an alternative using our members’ money. People like this Minister of State mirrors the disdain of the ruling class for the workers and people of the country”, he said.