The president, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, has said that the union was willing to call off the seven-month-old strike if concrete agreements were reached with the federal government.
He stated this in Abuja, yesterday at a national town hall meeting on tertiary education held under the theme ‘The locked gates of our citadels: A national emergency.’
Osodeke said the union had given the government a minimum that it can accept, but regretted that the government was yet to respond to the issues of revitalisation, earned allowance and many other issues.
“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.”
Osodeke reiterated the union’s commitment to return to school if the federal government puts its proposal on the table.
“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 expressed sadness over the lingering strike, which resulted in the government taking the union to court. He said suing the union was not an option, as it would further worsen the situation of students and tertiary education in the country.
He said if the court forces the lecturers to return to school, they won’t force them to teach with open minds, adding that students would definitely be at the receiving end.
Osodeke commended the committee of vice chancellors and pro-chancellors for stepping in to resolve the issues. He urged parents and students to appeal to the government to do the needful, so that the strike would come to an end, once and for all, rather than attacking the union.