A Philosophy lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, Dr Christian Emedolu, has died following the Federal Government’s insistence on the “no work to pay” policy towards striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Emedolu was said to have suffered a stroke shortly after the Federal Government declared its resolve not to pay striking lecturers their six months, salary arrears, citing the country’s labour law.
The chairman of ASUU UNIPORT, U.D Chima, who disclosed this in a statement, noted that the lecturer suffered a stroke and fell into a coma on Saturday August 20, 2022.
He added that the deceased’s colleagues rallied round and rushed him to the UNIPORT Teaching Hospital, where he was admitted, but eventually died.
The ASUU chairperson said Emedolu’s condition degenerated on Tuesday after he was told that the Buhari administration had declared that it wouldn’t pay the outstanding six months’ salaries of the lecturers, whose strike began on February 14, 2022.
He said: “…He collapsed when he heard government won’t pay salary arrears. Dr. Christian Emedolu’s death was facilitated by the hardship the Federal Government subjected the staff of public universities to in the last six months.
“The ruling class instead of being proactive to resolve the impasse between it and the University workers, resorted to deploying the malicious tool of hunger to force us back to work.
“I got the sad news regarding Dr Emedolu’s sickness very early yesterday morning and immediately contacted his very new and young wife who confirmed that he had stroke and had been in coma since last Saturday, August 20, 2022.
“I made every arrangement with the HoD of the Department of Philosophy, Dr Desmond Nbete, to ensure that he received adequate medical attention as we watched him lie helpless in his sick bed in a very bad and precarious situation.
“I contacted comrades at UPH, Prof. Rosemary Ogu and Dr Ugochukwu Agi (Convener, ASUU UniPort Health Committee) who quickly met us at the Accident and Emergency Section of UPTH, made arrangements for him to be moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and for the necessary scan to be done.
“I had to leave UPTH at 9:50 am to preside over ASUU EXCO meeting at 10:00 am before Congress at 12 pm, following the recent attempt and drama by the Federal Government to jettison the recommendations of the Prof. Emeritus Briggs Committee on the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement.
“At the EXCO meeting, we deliberated on Dr Emedolu’s health condition and quickly approved some fund in favour of the wife to handle the necessary expenditure, bearing in mind the current hardship inflicted on us by the Federal Government.
(Courtesy: New Telegraph, excluding headline)