Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi has appealed to members of the state university’s Academic Staff Union to call off their strike and resume work.
Bello, who visited the University at Ayagba on Tuesday, pledged to pay all the salary arrears of lecturers and non-academic staff of the institution this month.
He said that the payment would cover those on contract and study leave, as well as those employed in 2015.
The governor, however, said those who took the government to court would not benefit from the payment.
“I am going to pay every single dime, compute the arrears of all outstanding salaries. And for peace to reign, we will pay all including those on sabbatical, contract and study leave.
“We owe you this and we shall pay you,” he said.
Bello said issues of education should not be politicised or reduced to mediocrity and sentiments.
“Progress, development, advancement, breakthroughs, discoveries, innovations and inventions are supposed to be the hallmarks of this university but we can only achieve these if we are ready to face the reality.
“What future do we have as a people and as a nation if we allow the rot to continue; we must have a rethink,” he said.
The governor warned those fighting the administration for selfish gains to refrain from their action.
Earlier, Prof. Adams Ahmad, Chairman, Governing Council of the university, described the governor’s intervention as `divine.’
Ahmad, who said the strike by the lecturers was avoidable, however, described the crises bedevilling the institution as “chronically endemic,” having accumulated over time and advised that it be tackled in phases.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mohammed Abdulkadir, in his welcome address, appealed to the governor to provide adequate accommodation, electricity, transportation, water and health facilities for the staff and students.
Abdulkadir said that the institution presently has 419 lecturers and would require 361 more academic staff to function efficiently and effectively in all departments.
He noted that non-accreditation of programmes in Health Sciences and the University Teaching Hospital among others had stagnated students who ought to be on clinical teaching by now.
Also speaking, the Attah-Igala and President, Kogi Traditional Council of Chiefs, Dr Idakwo Amen-Oboni said “extreme unionism” was detrimental to peace and development.
The royal father advised the government, university management, teachers, staff, students, parents and guardians to take their responsibilities in the education sector very seriously.