By Segun Odeleye
Leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who have been in Abuja since the beginning of the week, hoping to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan in another round of discussions, left the capital on Friday to their various campuses having failed to secure a meeting.
The president is reportedly displeased with the union members and the sack threat by the education minister this week is believed to have emanated from Aso Rock.
The president has also reportedly resolved not to engage in direct negotiations with the union anymore because he is angry with ASUU leaders for three reasons, namely their contempt for the office of the President, their decision to issue new conditions and their alleged backing by some external forces.
Reports indicate that the ASUU leaders on their part are upset at the president that in spite of the fact that they had avoided making the negotiation talks a media affair, the Federal Government bungled the opportunity to wrap it up.
A top leader of ASUU, who spoke in confidence, said: “Our leaders have returned to their campuses. They were disappointed with the Area Boy or Agbero method adopted by the Minister.
“The military style of the Minister of State for Education will only compound the situation.
“So, we are back to our trenches as it was the situation during the military era. We are ready for the worst now. If the situation becomes uncontrollable, we will also go underground and resort to guerilla tactics.”
Some newpapers are also reporting that the presidency might level sabotage allegation against the lecturers if they remain unyielding and the strike paralyses universities.
According to a government source who spoke to The Nation newspaper, “We hope that they will not overreach their bounds, because what they have done in the last four months amounted to economic sabotage. If they continue to take the law into their hands by paralysing activities in the universities, we may try them for economic sabotage. This is also the extreme end the government may go too.
“Let them study the enabling laws to see what they have been violating. We are not yet disposed to wielding the big stick, but if the government is pushed to the wall, it will invoke relevant laws to manage the situation. We are waiting for what they will do.”