ASUP, COEASU Strike: Lecturers, lawmakers, education minister in crucial meeting

“The meeting will involve the House of Representatives members, Minister of Education, probably Head of Service and COEASU members.”

The striking lecturers of both polytechnics and colleges of education will on Tuesday meet with lawmakers at the National Assembly complex, officials have said.

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, and Colleges of Education and Academic Staff Union, COEASU, have been on eight-month and six-month strike respectively.

Hundreds of thousands of students nationwide have remained at home since the strikes begun last year.

The ASUP National Publicity secretary, Clement Chirman, confirmed the meeting to PREMIUM TIMES.

“Our meeting is tomorrow by 1, o clock at the National Assembly,” the lecturer said.

“The meeting will involve the House of Representatives members, Minister of Education, probably Head of Service and COEASU members,” he said.

The Chairman of COEASU, College of Education, Zuba, Ahmed Lawal, also confirmed that the union would be present at the meeting.

“Of course the national body of the College of Education (lecturers) will be present at the National Assembly for the meeting with the House of Representatives and Minster of Education on Tuesday,” he said.

The spokesperson to the Education Minister, Simeon Nwakaudu, could not be reached for confirmation on whether the minister would attend the meeting or send a representative. His telephone numbers were switched off.

Since the strikes began, several meetings have been held to resolve the dispute between the lecturers and the federal government, with the lecturers demanding the sack of the Education Minister, Nyesom Wike. They accused Mr. Wike of not being sincere with resolving the dispute; a charge the minister has denied.

Some of the demands of the lecturer include better working conditions, improved funding of their schools, and removal of dichotomy between university and polytechnic graduates.

A protest in Abuja last month by the lecturers and students was forcefully stopped by police officers who fired teargas to disperse the protesters in front of the federal secretariat.

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