University lecturers have been on strike since July 1.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Sunday cautioned President Goodluck Jonathan against an alleged plan by the president to direct that all universities be forcefully opened and lectures commence despite the ongoing strike by the lecturers.
The union stated this in a statement by the Chairman of its University of Uyo chapter, Nwachukwu Anyim.
“We have received information that President Jonathan intends to direct that universities should be re-opened immediately. As a branch, we do not think that such a directive would resolve the issues at stake. Rather, such a directive would deepen the prevailing crisis. A show of force by the president could only, at best, result in a “pyrrhic victory,” Mr. Anyim said.
“We stand on the existing agreement between the union and the Federal Government. The MoU between government and ASUU and also the NEEDS Assessment Report should provide the road map for the resolution of the ongoing strike by ASUU.”
The lecturer also gave the hint of a meeting scheduled for Monday between the leaders of ASUU and the federal government led by Mr. Jonathan.
“We are aware that President Jonathan intends to meet with the leadership of ASUU tomorrow, Monday, November 4, 2013, in a bid to address the deadlock in the ongoing strike by the members of the union,” he said.
He said members of the union, who have been on a nationwide strike for over four months, were not optimistic about Monday’s meeting.
“Ordinarily, the invitation by the President to the union would give the impression that the resolution of the strike was on the horizon. While we appreciate the present show of concern from the high office of the Presidency, we are, however, cautious in our optimism that the meeting between the President of the country and the union would yield desired results.
“The apparent lack of enthusiasm among our members concerning the outcome of the meeting is based on government’s lack of commitment towards the implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement and the memorandum signed with ASUU. While we hope that the Federal Government would see reason to finally resolve the issues in contention, we urge well -meaning Nigerians and stakeholders to persuade government to implement the agreement with the union in order to save Nigeria’s public universities,” he said.
The lecturers have at various times insisted that unless the Federal Government commenced implementation of the 2009 agreement with the union, they would not call off their strike. Mr. Jonathan, in his last media chat, however stated that government could not implement some parts of the agreement. Mr. Jonathan, who was then the Vice President, blamed government’s delegation then of signing such agreement.
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