by Dare Lawal
The strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has repeatedly defied any solution. Even the last deal proposed by the federal government to the union, although accepted by the union, has failed to resolve the crisis following certain conditions which ASUU wants the government to agree to first.
However, the Committee of Pro-chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities, has decided to take the bull by the horns. On Tuesday, the committee unanimously ordered the immediate re-opening of universities across the country.
It remains to be seen how far this new order will go. It will be recalled that about three months ago, the FG had in a meeting, offered the sum of N30bn to pro-chancellors and vice-chancellors of universities and ordered them to reopen the schools. However, the strike continued because without the striking lecturers, nothing can happen.
Tuesday’s communiqué was signed by the Chairman of the Pro-chancellor’s Committee, Professor Kimse Okoko at the end of the committee meeting to discuss the protracted strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other issues affecting the Nigerian university system.
The communiqué stated that the decision to re-open the universities was unanimously agreed by all pro-chancellors in the overall interest of all concerned. They directed all vice chancellors to comply with the committee decision.
The pro-chancellors reportedly expressed dismay that despite the earlier referendum held by various chapters of ASUU that voted 60-40 in favour of suspension of the over four months old strike, and despite all efforts to resolve the crisis, including the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan, the strike has not been called off.
The pro-chancellors called for the understanding of ASUU and indeed all staff of the various universities in Nigeria.
ASUU has been on strike since July 1.