By Faith Igbudu
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that the struggle by the body is the reason why Nigerian universities are still standing and will not be reduced to public primary schools.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, disclosed this during an interview on Channels TV’s “Politics Today.”
He said, “If we are not sincere, if we are not fully committed, we would have abandoned this struggle. Do you know what will happen? In the next two to three years Nigerian universities will be like public primary and secondary schools.
“If we are not sincere, Federal Government will not be owing our five-month salaries and we are still on strike looking for how to raise money for our children; we would have gone back. What we are saying is that the government should change our system. I want to plead to the president on behalf of Nigerian children who cannot afford it that the legacy he should leave behind is to transform this system.”
The Voice had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday directed the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to resolve the prolonged industrial action embarked upon by ASUU within two weeks.
However, reacting to the directive, Osodeke said two weeks is too long to resolve the face-off between the union and the federal government.
In a related development, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has described as false, media reports insinuating that President Buhari ordered him on Tuesday to hands off negotiations with the striking ASUU.
He made the clarification Wednesday while speaking with State House reporters.
Ngige said, “the truth of the matter is, there is no such thing. It’s categorical untrue. There is nothing like hands off.”
He, however, agreed to the fact that the president has approved a timeline to resolve the issue and hoped the strike would be resolved at the stipulated time.
He advised the unions to table their case before the Ministry of Education whom the President had directed to resolve the issue.