ASUU: We Are Willing to Call Off Strike
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has stated that the union is willing to call off its seven-month strike.
Osodeke, however, asserted that accomplishing this would need reaching specific agreements with the Federal Government. Yesterday in Abuja, during a National Town Hall Meeting on Tertiary Education, he made the promise. ‘The Locked Gates of our Citadels -A National Emergency.’
Remember that on February 14 the union began its industrial action, marking more than seven months after the country’s public colleges were shut down.
In an effort to put a stop to the strike, the Federal Government recently sued ASUU in the industrial court. Osodeke said:
“On all these issues, we have given the government a minimum that we can accept, but they have not responded on the issue of revitalisation, on the issue of earned allowance and on issues that we have all discussed.
“We negotiated and agreed that they should sign, and this is very simple, not more than one day. On UTAS and IPPIS, we said release the report of the test you did and let’s look at the one that came first and take it as we agreed. So, we have given them the minimum we want and we have to come down, and they can do it in one day if there is a will.”
If the Federal Government puts its proposal on the table, the union will return to school, Osodeke reaffirmed, adding that if the government is open to dialogue, an agreement might be made.
He said: “If the government loves this country, these children and their parents, then they should come to the table and let us resolve these issues in one day. Just as we did in 2014, they should come and ensure that we do that. We can even have the meeting openly, so that Nigerians will see what we are discussing.”
The ASUU President lamented about the prolonged strike, which led to the government filing a lawsuit against the union. He claimed that suing the union was not an option since it would make matters worse for students and the nation’s tertiary education system.
He added that students would undoubtedly suffer if the court ordered the instructors to return to class because they wouldn’t be required to do so with an open mind.
The Committee of Vice Chancellors and Pro-Chancellors was praised by Osodeke for intervening to settle the problems. Instead of criticizing the union, he advised parents and children to ask the government to take the appropriate action to put an end to the strike once and for all.
In the meantime, Mrs. Vivian Bello, Convener of the non-governmental Save Public Education Campaign, has pleaded with both sides to find a solution.
She claimed that the union is also experiencing the negative effects in addition to the students.
According to Bello, it is in the best interests of both parties to permanently resolve the conflict. For the benefit of students and the advancement of education in the nation.
She added: “We are going to play our traditional role, which is the role of monitor. We are going to keep very strong searchlight on the two actors, to see that this issue of back and forth is quickly brought to an end, and the Prof. Emmanuel Osodekestrike will be called-off.”