Seven Months Old Strike: Reps Meet Minister, ASUU, NLC Today

Seven Months Old Strike: Reps Meet Minister, ASUU, NLC Today
  • Imo varsity withdraws from strike
  • Students block Lagos Airport

By Mbachu  Godwin and Paul Effiong, Abuja

In a deft move to resolve the seven months strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to press for the implementation of the 2009 agreement, the leadership of the House of Representatives will today meet with relevant stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the lingering strike.

 

This is the second time the Green Chamber will be intervening in the face-off between the Federal government and the lecturers.  

 Following the disagreement to reach a middle ground the Union had declared the strike indefinitely at its NEC meeting held at the University of Abuja last August. The Union had on February 14 declared a warning strike accusing the Federal Government of insensitivity and failure to implement the agreement it entered with the body. 

AljazirahNigeria reports that similar efforts were made by well meaning Nigerians and organizations to resolve the impasse but could not yield positive result. 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities had insisted that the Federal government will meet all their demands before it can return to the classroom, while the government on its part invoked the principle of no work no pay which has stalemated the negotiations.  In its bid to get the striking university lecturers to resume work, the Federal Government instituted a suit at the industrial court. However the court has reserved the ruling to Wednesday, September 21. 

In a letter by  the clerk of the House of Representatives , Dr Yahaya Danzaria, yesterday and made available to newsmen, the Speaker Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is ready to meet critical stakeholders in the education sector as well as the leadership of ASUU for thorough deliberation aimed at bringing an end to the industrial action.

 The letter read in parts, “The House expressed concern about the renewed strike which it said seemed to have defied all efforts made to find a solution or reach agreement between the federal government and the striking University lecturers.

“The House is more worried about the negative consequences of the strike on the future and quality of education of our teeming youths who have been kept at home for the past six months despite the intervention of the House and several well-meaning Nigerians overtime to see that the matter was resolved.

“In the light of the foregoing, the House hereby requests for another opportunity to come together with stakeholders and leadership of the ASUU to seek an amicable resolution without prejudice to the fact that the matter is already in the Industrial court.

As part of efforts to ensuring that the lasting solution to the strike is proffered, stakeholders are expected to submit a written presentation of ASUU’s perspective on the matter to the House of Representatives”

Critical stakeholders expected at the meeting include the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu ,Minister of   Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, ASUU leadership, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, among many others.

 Meanwhile, Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri, has pulled out of the seven-month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU,

The University Public Relations Officer, Ralph Njoku, who announced the withdrawal in a statement yesterday, asked students of the institution and its staff to resume today ,Tuesday, September 20.

Njoku noted that the management of the university decided to pull out of the lingering strike in the interest of the students and staff of the institution.

He said a statement announcing the development had been sent to radio houses and would be aired repeatedly from yesterday afternoon.

“The management has just decided to ask students to resume immediately. Lectures start today. We are doing this in the best interest of our students and staff. We are not only pulling out of the ASUU strike but also asking everyone to return to school, we have asked students to resume immediately”, Njoku said.

In another development, to express its grievances over the continued industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, yesterday stormed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos to mount pressure on the government to resolve the seven-month strike.

Recall that the students’ body had earlier threatened to ground activities at the local and international airports across the country beginning from Monday, September 19, due to the strike.

Speaking to newsmen, chairman of NANS National Task Force on ‘End ASUU Strike Now,’ Ojo Raymond Olumide said students were tired of pleading with both parties to end the strike.

“Nigerian students whose parents created the commonwealth cannot continue suffering at home alongside our lecturers while the few who gain from our sweat and blood have their kids abroad.

“We call on students to rise and join us as we take our destinies into our hands. Our demands remain consistently clear and simple”, he said.

With the meeting scheduled today by the House of Reps leadership with education stakeholders, AljazirahNigeria correspondent is optimistic that the issue will be settled amicably.


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