Isa Pantami, Communications Minister.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced a one-month nationwide strike beginning on Monday, February 14.

The announcement was made by Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU, on Monday, after a two-day meeting of the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) held on Saturday and Sunday at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos.

The strike is to press home the union’s demands, which include funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances for lecturers and promotion arrears. The scholars also want the federal government to address the inconsistencies in its Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS).

Prior to the two-day meeting, the union’s NEC met at the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) on November 13 and 14, 2021. In the meeting, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, said despite meeting with Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, on October 14, 2021, none of the union’s demands had been met.

In March 2020, ASUU embarked on a similar strike action to drive its demands, and suspended the strike in December of the same year after getting assurances from the federal government.

Pantami’s promotion as professor illegal

Mr Osodeke also described as illegal the promotion of Communication Minister as a professor of cyber security by the management of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).

“Compatriots of the Press, you may recall that our union disassociated itself from the appointment of Dr Ibrahim Pantami as a professor of cybersecurity by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) during our NEC meeting held at the University of Abuja on 18th-19th November, 2021, until a Fact-Finding Team to be dispatched to the branch reports its findings.

“The team visited the branch on 10th-14th February, 2022, and reported back to NEC. As a result of the comprehensive report submitted on all the relevant matters, NEC hereby rejects in its entity, the purported appointment of Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim Pantami as a professor of cyber security.

“From the evidence available to us, Dr. Pantami was not qualified, and the said appointment violated established procedure for appointment of professors in the university.

“NEC directed all members and branches of our union throughout the Nigerian federation not to recognize, accord or treat Dr. Isah Ali Ibrahim Pantami as a professor of cyber security under any guise.

“NEC also resolved to sanction all ASUU members who participated in process that led to the illegal appointment in accordance with the established procedures of our union,” he added.