The executive members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), led by its President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, are scheduled to meet and discuss the inability of the Federal Government to meet their demands.
ASUU NEC is also expected to deliberate on the half salary paid to its members by the Federal Government last month. The meeting is expected to cause palpable tension among university communities.
The meeting will take place at the union’s headquarters at the permanent site of the University of Abuja campus. The union’s leadership will address the government’s decision and discuss their potential responses to the development.
ASUU President, who disclosed this in an interview with The Guardian, said the Federal Government was yet to meet any of the union’s demands.
However, Osodeke steadfastly declined to disclose the meeting’s date, saying: “I won’t say in advance when the meeting will take place. We are having a private meeting and will release the outcome when it is appropriate.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, last week, stated that the government would not pay lecturers’ full salaries, despite their statewide protests.
It appears that the Federal Government and the ASUU are gearing up for another confrontation. ASUU had, last Monday, begun protests across the country to press home their demand for full salary after the Federal Government failed to pay them for the eight months the lecturers were on strike.
Speaking in Abuja, on Wednesday, Adamu emphasised that the protesting academics would not be paid for work that was not completed in accordance with the “No work, no pay” policy.
In a related development, a civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed sadness and disappointment that less than one month after the ASUU suspended its eight-month strike, the union and the Federal Government were back on a warpath, largely as a result of the bellicose and lawless position of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige.
HURIWA, which condemned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for being totally nonchalant towards the educational rights of the children of the poor and less-privileged in the society, warned the government that: “it is playing with fire by pushing millions of youths in public universities system to the wall.”
The group lamented that the children of the political elite were educated abroad, using the country’s commonwealth.
HURIWA claimed that ASUU was set to meet tomorrow to decide whether to embark on another strike or not.
“HURIWA believes that the Federal Government has failed in every aspect of our national life and has completely collapsed the economy of Nigeria…,” the group said.