Benue State governor, Mr Gabriel Suswam, yesterday directed the management of the Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi to reopen the institution and announced the decisions of the state government to suspend payment of salaries to lecturers and sack lecturers that failed to comply.
The BSU lecturers joined their counterparts across the country to observe the nationwide strike action declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which commenced since June, 2013. They have refused to go back to work despite several pleas by the governor.
However, Suswam said that members of the union in the BSU have deliberately refused to call off the strike even as the state government has made several appeals for the lecturers to consider the interest of the students. He directed the management of the university to reopen the institution with immediate effect or risk being sacked.
Suswam made this declaration at Government House, Makurdi during an urgent meeting with the management of the university led by the vice chancellor, Prof. Charity Angya. The VC was represented by the deputy vice chancellor, administration, Prof Nicholas Ada. According to Suswam, “it is important that you as management come because you have refused to reopen the university. I am going to call the Governing Council and insist that they open the university but the first thing I am going to do is that you will not have your salaries paid beginning from this month and any staff who refuses to come back to work would have his or her appointment terminated and nobody is going to collect salary arrears. And so I needed you people to know before you hear it announced on the radio”.
“I am also aware that there was a court case that was instituted against the university by the state government over strike and we are going to take that case up and make you face it because we have completely run out of patience and there is no basis while the children will continue to be on strike,” Suswam said.