Even the President cannot relieve university lecturers of their duties, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria chapter, Dr. Muhammad Kabir Aliyu, said yesterday.
No minister, and even no the President, hold the power to hire or fire, Mr. Aliyu said.
"Nobody can tell us to go back to work.
"If they think they can get other lecturers, let them go and get them.
"We are not going back and we are ready to be dismissed by the minister. But even the President cannot sack us. Even the President has no place in the university when it comes to employment issues.
"During the military era, General Babangida tried what this man [Goodluck Jonathan] is saying, but did not succeed. And let us see how they would succeed.
"Tell them to do the right thing, but if they feel that they can threaten us, let them go ahead and see where it will take them," Dr. Aliyu said.
Lecturers of the university were unanimous in condemning the statement credited to the minister for education, Mr. Nyemson Wike, that university lecturers who refused to return to work on or before December 4 would be sacked.
"It is unfortunate that these are the types of people we have as leaders. The welfare of the citizens is not their business. Because they learnt that we have voted for an end to the strike they thought that they can intimidate us," Dr. Aliyu added.
"I was one of those that voted for an end to the strike, but I would not obey the directive, and let us see what would happen. They have starved us for over four months, and now they are threatening us. We are waiting for their dismissal," he concluded.