The National President of Academic Staff Unionof Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Fagge, has expressed his surprise at the news that the union was planning to call off the strike on Thursday.
Speaking to Vanguard, he revealed that they have not reached any agreement with the government yet.
“There is nothing like that (suspending the strike). I am also surprised to hear people say that we are going to call off the strike,” he said.
“Our members have made it categoricallyclear what they want. This meeting we had with government on Friday at the office of the Secretary to the Governmentof the Federation, SGF, is just exploratory.
“We are trying to look at issues holistically and see how we are going to address them. So assignments were given to various people that attended themeeting and the expectation is that we will meet tomorrow (today), Monday and look at the assignment given and also look at it on Thursday again.
“So, that is why I’m surprised to hear people say that we are going to suspend strike on Thursday. The mandate of our members is very clear. So, we will wait and see what the Monday and Thursday meetings unfold and then we report backto our members.”
When he was asked about how long it would take for ASUU officials to meet together, after the meeting with government on Thursday, he replied: “We are in constant consultation with ourmembers, we don’t really have problems with that.
“After the meeting, we will decide when to link up with our members depending upon what is placed on table on Thursday.”
In reaction to the speculation that ASUU might call off the strike, if the government meets 50% of their 2009 agreement, Faggae said they would rather get to the bridge first and then decide whether to cross it. He however commended the Joint Senate and House of Representatives on Education, for theirpositive disposition towards the resolution of the crisis.
“For us, the interaction we have had withthe Joint Committee clearly indicates thatthey are concerned like other Nigerians,” he stated
“This is expected of the representatives of people. You see the problem has always been that the executive arm of government does not really hearken to advise that are given on how best to address the problems on education in this country.
“We are convinced as a union that the only thing the government can really do for Nigerians is to avail them of education.
“Once you are able to do that, you will see that people will be able to generate jobs and they will be able to take care of themselves and contribute to nation building. So that is the argument we are placing on the table.”