The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been accused of attempting to hold the nation and citizens to ransom.
The leadership already declared that their industrial action would continue until the federal government commits to the payment of salaries from February till date.
On Sunday, the Nigerian Project Initiative (NPI) and the Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD) expressed outrage over the request and threatened demonstrations.
The chairmen, Mohammed Salihu and Akinloye James, respectively, condemned the vow by ASUU to keep the students at home over “money they didn’t work for”.
In a joint statement, the civil society organisations described the stance of the lecturers as hollow, self centred and vexatious.
They said it was provoking that other unions in the academic community have decided to end their face-off with the authorities, while ASUU remains adamant.
“If the government were to heed them, would that not be a recipe for disaster as NASU and SSANU would resort to strike to demand the salaries they forfeited?” They queried.
Salihu and James said it’s a rule in industrial relations that unions keep strike funds, noting that ASUU through its president earlier admitted they have been paying members.
“It is thus apparent that ASUU by its demand is now seeking double pay for its members for work not done,” the groups said.
NPI and ISD noted that for the sake of students who have missed out, the lecturers should return to classes and repair “the damage that has been done instead of financial blackmail”.
The statement announced the plan to mobilise other civil society groups for a showdown against the university workers.
“If by this week ASUU sticks on to its selfish demands, we would be compelled to lay siege to its offices across the country”, it added.