Vanguard (Lagos)

11 November 2013

Nigeria: Strike - ASUU Branches Meet Today, Exco On Wednesday

Abuja — ALL branches of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will hold their congresses today to brief members on President Goodluck Jonathan's offer.

Nigeria public universities have been closed down over four months as a result of the Federal Government's inability to implement the agreement it entered into in 2010 with lecturers.

There have been a lot of calls from well-meaning Nigerians to the Federal Government and ASUU to come to a compromise so that students resume academic activities.

Both warring factions had maintained hard stand on the issue as ASUU argued that poor funding was responsible for the dwindling fortunes of education and its attendant poor quality of graduates, while the Federal Government said the university lecturers downed tools over enhanced earned allowance.

However, the long closure of universities led the leadership of the Senate and President Jonathan to hold separate meetings with the union and relevant stakeholders last Monday, where new offers were made to the teachers with a plea for them to re-open universities.

A branch Chairman of ASUU, who told Vanguard of today's congresses in all the universities, said the meeting was for the chairmen to brief members on the outcome of their meeting with President Jonathan.

He further said that the outcome of today's meeting of the various branches would be communicated to the national leadership of the union, which will in turn convene an emergency NEC meeting between Wednesday and Thursday this week to consider the positions of various branches .

The Chairman, who did not want his name to be mentioned, said: "Branches throughout the country will be holding their congresses on Monday (today) to brief our members on the outcome of the meeting with the President.

"It is at the meeting that the various branches will take position and communicate same to the national leadership Monday evening, then an emergency NEC meeting would be convened between Wednesday and Thursday.

"We have not been told of the venue, but we were told to prepare because it would take two days by road from my branch."

He said calling for a strike or calling it off was not a decision taken by the ASUU President (Dr. Nasir Fagge) or the national executive alone.

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