Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, yesterday threatened to stop the salaries of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Benue State University, BSU, branch should they continue the ongoing sympathy industrial action with the striking federal university leacturers.
Governor Ortom contended that the sympathy strike had gone beyond the allowed three days and urged the lecturers to return to the classroom in the interest of Benue children.
The Governor who spoke in Makurdi while reacting to appeals by parents and students on the striking lecturers to call off the sympathy strike, noted that he had ensured the prompt payment of the salaries of the striking lecturers despite their action lamenting that their action was already taking its toll on the students and parents.
The Governor said: “I have been paying their salaries; I don’t know why the lecturers are extending their sympathy strike beyond the allowed days. Even at that I am still paying them. Ordinarily there should not be any strike at the Benue State University at least they wouldn’t have gone beyond the days allowed for sympathy strike.
“So it is either they come back or I will stop paying them and I will use the resources for something else. What I give to BSU monthly is over N600million and they should appreciate what we are doing in that institution.
“I have been doing that monthly, so I am appealing to them to return back to classroom. I have been patient enough and I am allowing them one month do a rethink. I also urge stakeholders to talk to them.”
When contacted, the ASUU-BSU Chapter Chairman, Dr. Tarnongu Kwaghfan said the state government was yet to pay their June salaries, saying “We have our own local issues which we have raised and the Governor is also aware of these our local issues. So, if he says he does not owe salaries, but if then, June has not been paid.”
Recall that the ASUU-BSU joined the warning strike that was called on February 14, 2022 by the national body on sympathy basis but had not called off the action despite repeated appeals by parents and students for an end to the action.