by Segun Odeleye
Just as it has been in the past five months, there is a stalemate once again in the talks between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
After the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the union, members decided to accept the government’s offer but based on certain conditions which the government has termed as “outrageous.” Consequently the minister of education, Nyesom Wike, said on Thursday that the lecturers have just one week to call off the strike otherwise they would be sacked, a threat which the union has dismissed as empty.
There are now indications however that the country’s main labour unions – the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) – are set to intervene and mediate in the face-off.
The National President of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, who disclosed this, said that the organised labour was preoccupied with the resolution of the crisis and would avoid blaming either party involved in the crisis.
Kaigama, who said he had held a discussion with his NLC counterpart, Mr. Abdulwahed Omar, on the issue, added that efforts would be made to ensure that the matter was resolved without either side conceding defeat.
He said, “Well, we have to intervene in this crisis. I have heard what has happened. The NLC and the TUC would intervene so that the conflict is not worsened. We don’t want to blame anybody on either side; we just want to do it in such a way that there is no winner, no vanquished. Omar and I have discussed it.”