The existing face-off between Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and striking lecturers of the State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), took a further nose-dive as the governor revealed on Monday, that he had directed the Ministry of Finance to stop payment of salaries to the lecturers.
The lecturers had been on strike since August 13, 2012 over the reappointment of RSUST Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barineme Fakae, by the state governor.
The governor disclosed this during a town hall meeting in Port Harcourt. He declared that his administration would embrace a no-work, no-pay principle for the striking lecturers.
He said, “The university (RSUST) is not on strike. The school is open, but some teachers decided not to come. I have directed the Ministry of Finance not to pay the teachers.
“Lecturers are to teach and not to appoint a VC. I have appointed the VC whether they like it or not. The law said it is the governor that appoints VCs and not lecturers.”
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, RSUST chapter, Dr. Felix Igwe, said in Port Harcourt, that the striking lecturers of the institution were already being owed three months salaries.
He recalled that the state government had not called the lecturers for a dialogue on the crisis since ASUU went on strike over the matter, adding that the circumstance leading to the lecturers’ industrial action had nothing to do with members’ salaries.