The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it did not receive any notice of meeting from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The academic staff body also said it would decide on the next course of action after the expiration of its warning strike. Last Friday, it was reported that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, during a meeting with the striking National Association of Academic Technologists promised to meet with ASUU this week.This week is also the last week of the ASUU’s two months rollover strike.
A statement by the acting spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Patience Onuobia, quoted Ngige as saying, “As a conciliator, I manage you people in measured steps. That is why I want to take all of you holistically and I ask for your cooperation. When I finish with you today, I will continue with ASUU next week.“The Federal Government will resume talks with ASUU by next week as part of moves to end the lingering strike by the lecturers.”
However, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, told our correspondent on Sunday that the union had yet to receive any notice of meeting from any Federal Government ministry.“No, we have received any notice of meeting from them. They didn’t call us. We are not begging them to meet with us and we will not go to them if they do not invite us. It’s part of his political campaign, we didn’t receive any invite,” he said.
When asked what would be ASUU’s decision at the end of its two-month rollover strike which ends on Friday, Osodeke said, “My people will decide.”Osodeke also berated some ministers in the regime of the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd.) for buying the nomination forms to contest for the presidential seat in 2023.
He explained that the strike was in its 12th week and yet no intervention from the government. He added that the ministers had not called ASUU for any meeting but could raise money to buy nomination forms.Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, was the first of many aspirants to obtain copies of the Nomination and Expression of Interest forms to vie for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress.
Nwajiuba is not the only minister on the list as Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and other presidential aides are currently vying for various offices at federal and state levels.“No meeting, if we do not hear from them, our National Executive Council will meet at the expiration of this week.“You can’t solve the little problem in your ministry and you want to go and rule the country, he is making fun of us, how did they raise the money. I’m tired of this country, they are not serious.
We are not politicians, what we want them to do is take up the education system.“Nigerians should vote for people who will take care of the system, education system, take care of them. It is about the Nigerian people, it is not about ASUU, when Nigerians take over this struggle, we will go back to class and it is in their hands to elect the best people to government.
While reacting to the government’s claim that it had no funds to meet ASUU’s demands, Osodeke said, “We are hearing that from the press, they didn’t tell us they don’t have money but they can have billions for the subsidy, the country is a joke they are making fun of all of us.”
Some of ASUU’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.