STRIKE: ASUU to meet FG Tuesday

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The leadership of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will on Tuesday meet with the representatives of the Nigerian government towards reaching a middle ground on the lingering industrial crisis rocking the nation’s ivory towers.

Though the union’s national president, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor, confirmed that ASUU would meet with the government during the week, he declined giving specific details of the scheduled meeting. PREMIUM TIMES reports.

“Yes I can confirm that we are meeting with the government representatives but I can’t say much for now,” Mr Osodeke told our reporter on the phone.

But another member of the union’s executive council who does not want to be quoted said the meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the office of the “conciliator.”

The source said: “The conciliator in this case is the ministry of labour. We already received the invitation but that is all I will tell you. I’m not sure if it is anything serious but we will honour it so that we are not blackmailed as usual.”

According to another senior official of the union who also does not want to be mentioned, only the president of the ASUU, as a tradition, is allowed to talk to journalists on issues of national interest about the union, “and especially when it has to do with national industrial action.”

The official was reacting to what was described as pressure from interested parties that other members of the union should give an update on the ongoing strike.

“As a disciplined workers’ union, only the ASUU president has the mandate to talk to anyone and the press in particular. There is hierarchy in our union, and the president himself only speaks when there is clearance from the National Executive Council (NEC), which is the apex body,” the official said.

But the director of press at the federal ministry of labour and employment, Charles Akpan, said he was yet to be briefed by the minister or any official if any meeting would be holding or not.

He, however, promised to communicate appropriately as soon as he receives any information.