BY Ayodele Oluwafemi
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the union is ready to suspend its ongoing strike if the federal government shows willingness to accept its “minimum” demands.
Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, spoke on Thursday during a national town hall meeting on tertiary education.
The town hall meeting was tagged: ‘The Locked Gates of our Citadels – A National Emergency’.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the federal government’s failure to meet its demands, including on issues relating to the funding of universities and lecturers’ salaries and allowances.
The federal government recently filed a suit against the union at the national industrial court over the lingering strike.
Speaking during the town hall meeting, the ASUU president said the suit will worsen the situation, adding that the union is ready to engage with the federal government.
“On all these issues, we have given the government a minimum that we can accept, but they have not responded on issue of revitalisation, earned allowance and on other issues that we have all discussed,” NAN quoted Osodeke as saying.
“We negotiated and agreed that they should sign. This is very simple and it will not take more than one day.
“On UTAS and IPPIS , we say ‘release the report of the test you did, let’s look at the one who 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.
“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.”
On her part, Vivian Bello, convener of Save Public Education Campaign, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), appealed to the federal government and ASUU to resolve the situation, adding that it is the students who are bearing the negative impact of the strike.