By Ayobami Olopade
The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Wednesday, declared that the key to ending the ongoing strike action by the lecturers lies with President Goodluck Jonathan; once the President accepts the conditions they tabled before him at their last meeting on November 4, the strike would be over within 24 hours.
ASUU discredited the statement by the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike which claimed that the union was making new outrageous demands saying it was “untrue and (an) absolute lie.”
According to ASUU, President Jonathan should fast track the the endorsement of resolutions it reached with the union and with the signature of a top government official, preferrably the Attorney General of the Federation and not a Permanent Secretary. It also demanded that the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Abdulwaheed Omar, as well as a representative of the union should stand as witnesses.
In an interview with The Nation, the union’s National Secretary, Dr. Ademola Aremu stated that the union wanted the N200 billion agreed upon as 2013 revitalisation fund for public universities to be warehoused with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and disbursed to the benefitting universities.
He appreciated the President on behalf of the union for his intervention but lamented that some of the resolutions reached with the President were not included in the letter sent to the union.
He accused the Supervising Minister, Nyesom Wike, of selective revelation by failing to inform Nigerians that apart from the N30 billion earned allowances released for university staff, the government was yet to release the N100 billion claimed to have been released.
He, however, revealed that once those conditions are fulfilled, the strike action which has paralysed public universities for almost five months would be over within 24 hours.