ABUJA — ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has described as speculative reports that the strike embarked upon by the union over the inability of the Federal Government to implement the 2009 agreement it willingly entered into with the union would be called off this Thursday.
National President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, told Vanguard that he was surprised to hear that the union was going to call off the strike on Thursday when the issues tabled before government had not been resolved.
Faggae said: “There is nothing like that (suspending the strike). I am also surprised to hear people say that we are going to call off the strike.
He said: “Our members have made it categorically clear what they want. This meeting we had with government on Friday at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, is just exploratory.
“We are trying to look at issues holistically and see how we are going to address them. So assignments were given to various people that attended the meeting and the expectation is that we will meet tomorrow (today), Monday and look at the assignment given and also look at it on Thursday again.
“So, that is why I’m surprised to hear people say that we are going to suspend strike on Thursday. The mandate of our members is very clear. So, we will wait and see what the Monday and Thursday meetings unfold and then we report back to our members.”
On how long it would take ASUU leaders to convene a meeting with its members after the meeting with government on Thursday, the ASUU boss said “we are in constant consultation with our members, we don’t really have problems with that.
“After the meeting, we will decide when to link up with our members depending upon what is placed on table on Thursday.”
Commenting on the speculation that the union might suspend the strike if the government met up to 50 per cent of the agreement, Faggae said the union would prefer to get to the bridge before crossing it.
He commended the positive disposition of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Education towards the resolution of the crisis.
Fagge added: “For us, the interaction we have had with the Joint Committee clearly indicates that they are concerned like other Nigerians”.
“This is expected of the representatives of people. You see the problem has always been that the executive arm of government does not really hearken to advise that are given on how best to address the problems on education in this country.
“We are convinced as a union that the only thing the government can really do for Nigerians is to avail them of education.
“Once you are able to do that, you will see that people will be able to generate jobs and they will be able to take care of themselves and contribute to nation building. So that is the argument we are placing on the table.”