Education

Anxiety as ASUU NEC convenes for crucial meeting over strike  

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will Sunday night/Monday morning decide on whether the union will continue its over six-month strike or not, The Nation has learnt.

 

The Nation reports that ASUU commenced a nationwide industrial action on February 14 and has continued to extend it as there has been no substantial agreement with the government.

 

Recall that on August 1, ASUU announced another extension of the strike by another four weeks.

 

The NEC meeting promises to be a decisive one and may determine whether the government would suspend the union as is being rumoured in some quarters.

 

The Nation gathered that parents and students are keeping their ears wide open to hear the outcome of the striking lecturers.

 

On social media where many have aired their opinions, they appealed to the university teachers to give peace a chance, resume dialogue with the Federal Government, and return to classrooms.

 

However, a final decision on whether to call off the strike or extend it will be reached at the NEC Meeting.

 

The Nation learnt that various ASUU branches have held their congresses during the week, and the majority voted for another rollover of an indefinite strike.

 

The renegotiation of the 2009 agreement and the replacement of IPPIS with UTAS are the major demands of the striking lecturers.

 

Meanwhile, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) , the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have suspended their actions for a few months to allow the Federal Government to look into their demands.

 

The President of the Union, Emmanuel Osodeke, had come under sharp criticism for referring to other universities that announced resumption despite the union’s ongoing strike as “quacks.”

 

But he denied the now-viral report. Describing the report as fake, Osodeke lamented unprofessionalism in reportage, alleging that the media aimed at creating confusion in the system.

 

He said, “There is nothing like that. It is a lie. I have told myself that I will not talk to the press again because they always misrepresent things.”

 

ASUU has, however, accused the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, of leading a gang of ministers to fight them over the ongoing strike.

 

The university lecturers made the allegation at a press conference held at the ASUU Secretariat, University of Jos, yesterday.

 

Prof. Lawan Abubakar, Zonal Coordinator of Bauchi Zone of ASUU, who addressed the press on behalf of his colleagues, said, “Adamu now leads his colleagues like Chris Ngige, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmad, etc., to misrepresent facts and mislead the good people of Nigeria against ASUU.”

 

Abubakar who described the antics of the minister as unfortunate said, “It is the highest level of unpatriotic disservice a minister would do to his nation, particularly a sector like education which is the backbone of the development of any country.

 

“If this is the way to end ASUU strike, ASUU, Bauchi Zone is taking exception to it and assuring Adamu Adamu that he is wrong; he has rather succeeded in undermining the future of Nigerian youths and Nigeria.

 

“If it would take him six months to only come up with this deceit as a solution to the strike, we then have the right to ask whether he really has a brain in his skull. It has now come to bare, that the minister had all along been deceiving everybody since 2017, as far as ASUU’s agitations in the tenure of this government are concerned.”

 

He added: “We want you, gentlemen of the press and the general public, to know that the Federal Government through Adamu Adamu did not approach ASUU with any reasonable and acceptable solutions to the issues in contention that led to the current strike; the miserable and insulting award of the government were appropriately and squarely rejected by the union.

 

“So the claim of the minister that ASUU has accepted the offers from government was a blatant lie aimed at scuttling what Prof Nimi Briggs put together to resolve the matter thereby undermining the sincerity of the Briggs presidential committee in resolving the issues.

 

 

(The Nation)

 

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