The ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike appears to be trailed by confusion, as there is an allegation by the Union that the Federal Government does not take the issue seriously as expected.
This was confirmed by ASUU when it stated that it did not receive any notice of a meeting, which was supposed to hold on Sunday, from the Ministry of Labour and Employment over its ongoing strike.
According to ASUU, the Minister has not called its members and the group is not begging them to meet and will not go to them if there is no invitation.
What ASUU is saying about the strike
The National President, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, explained that the union had yet to receive any notice of a meeting from any Federal Government ministry.
- He said, “No, we have not 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 is part of his (Ngige’s) political campaign, we didn’t receive an invite.
- “No meeting, if we do not hear from them, our National Executive Council will meet at the expiration of this week.”
- There are indications that ASUU may extend its 12-week old strike after members of its National Executive Council held a crucial meeting in Abuja to deliberate on the strike.
- The group said that it may take such a decision due to the alleged ‘insincerity’ of the government delegation to meet up to its part of the agreement.
- Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress in Kogi State also blames the Federal Government for the lingering strike.
- He alleged that the body language of President Muhammadu Buhari, during the ongoing strike showed that his regime had no plan for the future of Nigerian youths.
- Ojo, while expressing worries over the continuous crisis rocking the nation’s educational sector, explained that students are always at the receiving end when unions down tools to press home their demands.
On the other hand, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, faulted Osodeke’s claim on the notice of the meeting.
He said, “The negotiating team is meeting ASUU this week. I cannot say when but I am very sure they will be meeting. The team has reached out to ASUU.
“It is not true that we have not been communicating with them. ASUU is making a series of demands including salary increase, if we have not been communicating, who then are they making their demands to?”
What you should know
- The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had during a meeting with the striking National Association of Academic Technologists on Friday, promised to meet with ASUU this week.
- This week was also the last week of the ASUU’s two months rollover strike.