The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ebonyi State Chapter, Tuesday, joined their counterpart across the nation in NLC, ASUU solidarity protest.
The union members were seen marching with solidarity songs along the streets of Abakaliki.
At the Solidarity protest, NLC called for the reopening of Tertiary Institutions by the Federal Government they added that the federal government resolves all the lingering industrial disputes between the government and all the university-based unions in the country.
Comrd. Ikechukwu Nwafor the state chairman of NLC and all affiliate members of NLC in the State participated in the nationwide protest in solidarity with the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
While speaking to reporters in Abakaliki, Card. Nwafor pleaded to the Federal Government to urgently look into the issue and return the students to schools while meeting the demands of the workers.
“Our workers in the university have reached an agreement with the government severally and Federal government reneged in that agreement, at this point we insist that that agreement should be met, let the workers’ welfare be met, let them respect workers rights, let our children go back to school. ”
“We join other States including Abuja to say that the Federal Government should be fast and make our children go back to school, enough is enough! He stated.
He described the APC-led government as insensitive to the plight of the people while accusing them of betraying their mandate.
“Federal Government has betrayed the educational sector, and Ebonyi State Government led by Governor David Umahi have also betrayed the workers of Ebonyi State.
“We stand to say that those who betrayed the workers of the state will himself be betrayed, ” he stated.
The chairmen of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ebonyi State University, Alex Ekweme Federal University, Ndufu- Alike Ikwo (AE-FUNAI), and Ebonyi College of Education, among others who spoke during the protest said that the strike will continue until their demands are met by the federal government and Ebonyi state government.
On their part, the ASUU chairmen, AE-FUNAI and EBSU, Comr. Egwu Oguaga and Comr. Ikechukwu Okorie said:” We are here today to call for the emancipation of our country from the hands of those who want to kill it. The main purpose of this struggle is to tell Nigerians that we have a government that is insincere to the plights of Nigerians.
“In five months, university lecturers are at home and we cannot teach our students. The lecturers are not well taken care of. We shall not back down until Federal Government does the needful, we shall not back down until the 2009 agreement is implemented, we shall not back down until the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) is recalled, we shall not back down until the Universal Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is implemented”
Also Speaking, AE-FUNAI, SSANU Chairman, Comr. Emmanuel Chibata called on the government to immediately implement the University Peculiar Payroll Payment System (U3PS) and quash the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which has been used to shortchange the workers.