The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has said that its members will not be able to cover for unfinished academic sessions if the federal government makes good its threat not to pay backlog of salaries incurred during the ongoing strike.
Osodeke, who spoke during an interview on national television yesterday in response to government’s insistence on non-payment of the lecturers over their industrial action, said such a move will mean that the students would lose one session.
“If we agree on that, therefore, the lectures we should have given (to students) for 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 (sessions), should be allowed to go so we start a new session, 2022/2023, in September.
“Therefore, by July next year, I would go on my leave as we used to have in those days so that the backlog is gone. All the lectures that remain; all the two sets of admissions that JAMB has given that are waiting should become irrelevant,” he said.
According to him, the normal practice is for the university teachers to go back to work after suspension of strike to cover the backlog of work.
“For ASUU, when we go back today, we are going to start from the 2020/2021 session. For these two sets of students that have been admitted by JAMB, we have to teach them over these periods to ensure that we meet up with the system.
“So, we are going to do the backlog of the work we have left behind. We are not going to start today and say ‘This session is 2022/2023, therefore, all these two sets of people that have been admitted by JAMB are cancelled’. We have to take another admission for the 2023/2024 session,” Osodeke said.
The ASUU president further said that the seizure of salaries of members will not deter them, adding that “ASUU can take care of its members.”