Emmanuel who spoke with PUNCH on Sunday lamented that many lecturers are now engaged in farming and other economic activities, while a large number have left the country.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has raised alarm over the mass resignation of lecturers due to the lingering strike.
According to ASUU National President, Emmanuel Osodeke, lecturers are resigning in mass from the nation’s universities for greener pastures abroad.
Osodeke spoke with PUNCH on Sunday.
He lamented that many lecturers are now engaged in farming and other economic activities, while a large number have left the country.
The union President said many of its members were forced to venture into other sources of livelihood over the Federal Government’s refusal to meet some of their demands, including payment of seven month’s backlog of salaries accrued during the strike.
Osodeke expressed concern for the country, stressing that the FG believes it is punishing lecturers but the action is to the detriment of Nigeria.
He: “So many lecturers are leaving to engage in farming and others; lecturers are tired of the treatment they’re receiving from the government and because of this, they are looking for alternatives. So many more will leave even after the strike too.
‘’I pity the country; Nigeria will be the loser for it. Instead of coming to the table; look at how they will solve the issue, rather, they believe in punishing lecturers. It’s so sad. Your lecturers went on strike, you believe they will become hungry and come back to beg. Many lecturers will also leave to venture into other areas; some are also looking at becoming self-employed.”
The ASUU Chairman, University of Lagos branch, Dele Ashiru, corroborated the claims of Osodeke, revealing that more than 70 per cent of the brightest brains who were retained had left the country.
Ashiru, in an interview on Arise TV, said that no government in the history of the country has been so disrespectful and insensitive to the best brains in the country.
He said: “The impact of the government’s insensitivity and deployment of the weapon of hunger might not be immediately known until after the strike. As I speak with you, more than 70 per cent of bright and promising young academics retained by the university through mentorship have all left the country for greener pastures due to the poor conditions of service in Nigeria.
‘’Those that are left are on the verge of leaving. No government in the history of Nigeria has been so insensitive, brash and disrespectful of the best brains in the country. This is unfortunate and a shame.
“ASUU is a union of intellectuals, we don’t look at what others do to make our decisions. We make our decisions based on verifiable facts and the facts available to us have not shown this government to be a responsible and sensible one.”