Strike: ASUU, FG Yet to Meet

The Academic Staff Union of Universities and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities had said the Federal Government is yet to reach out to them since the Nigeria Labour Congress announced a plan to hold nationwide solidarity protests on Tuesday and Wednesday.

ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, stated this on Sunday.

They added that despite the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret. ), ordering the minister and other government representatives to end the continuing union strike, they were still waiting for a formal response from the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

The NLC had already declared last week that it would join forces with its affiliated unions in a joint protest against the country’s ongoing university workers’ strike that has been ongoing since February 14, 2022.

While Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, asserted that a report by the Department of State Services had advised against protest, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed had nonetheless deemed the planned demonstration illegal.

In a chat with The PUNCH on Sunday, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, explained that the protest would go on as planned, adding that the government had yet to meet any of their demands.

“We have not heard anything from the FG and no formal invitation from them. All they have been saying was that the planned protest was illegal. They don’t want to do what they are supposed to,” he said.

Also, the National President, SSANU, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, said, “I have not been contacted, and my union has not been contacted. As I speak to you, we are still expectant that they will talk to us, but the protest will still go on.

“The protest is an expression of our feelings on how we are being treated. Today is the 128th day of our strike. All universities have been shut down, but their children are in private schools and abroad. So, what do you expect from them?”

When asked in a separate interview if Adamu had reached out to ASUU after last week’s presidential directive to ensure the issues around the strike are resolved, Osodeke said, “We spoke, and it was agreed that we would meet, but we are still awaiting official communication as regards that.”

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, responded to inquiries by saying, “There is a presidential decree, and that would be executed to the letter.”

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