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Strike: We’ll Decide On Next Step Soon, Says ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities claims it received no meeting notification from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The academic staff union also stated that it would decide on the next course of action after the warning strike expired.

Last Friday, it was reported that at a meeting with the striking National Association of Academic Technologists, Dr Chris Ngige, pledged to meet with ASUU this week.

This week also marks the end of the ASUU’s two-month strike.

A statement by the acting spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Patience Onuobia, quoted Ngige as saying, “As a conciliator, I manage you people in measured steps. That is why I want to take all of you holistically and I ask for your cooperation. When I finish with you today, I will continue with ASUU next week.

“The Federal Government will resume talks with ASUU by next week as part of moves to end the lingering strike by the lecturers.”

However, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, told our correspondent on Sunday that the union had yet to receive any notice of meeting from any Federal Government ministry.

“No, we have received any notice of meeting from them. They didn’t call us. We are not begging them to meet with us and we will not go to them if they do not invite us. It’s part of his political campaign, we didn’t receive any invite,” he said.

When asked what would be ASUU’s decision at the end of its two-month rollover strike which ends on Friday, Osodeke said, “My people will decide.”

Osodeke also chastised several ministers in President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration for purchasing nomination papers to run for the presidency in 2023.

He said that the strike was in its 12th week and that the administration had made no involvement. He stated that the ministers had not summoned a meeting of ASUU, but that they may generate funds to purchase nomination forms.

Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, was the first of several aspirants to acquire copies of the All Progressives Congress presidential nomination and expression of interest forms.
Nwajiuba is not the only minister on the list as Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and other presidential aides are currently vying for various offices at federal and state levels.

“No meeting, if we do not hear from them, our National Executive Council will meet at the expiration of this week.

“You can’t solve the little problem in your ministry and you want to go and rule the country, he is making fun of us, how did they raise the money. I’m tired of this country, they are not serious. We are not politicians, what we want them to do is take up the education system.

“Nigerians should vote for people who will take care of the system, education system, take care of them. It is about the Nigerian people, it is not about ASUU, when Nigerians take over this struggle, we will go back to class and it is in their hands to elect the best people to government.

While reacting to the government’s claim that it had no funds to meet ASUU’s demands, Osodeke said, “We are hearing that from the press, they didn’t tell us they don’t have money but they can have billions for the subsidy, the country is a joke they are making fun of all of us.”

Some of ASUU’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.

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