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Latest News on ASUU Strike

 WORRIED over the negative repercussions of the on-going strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the two Committees on Education in the National Assembly have summoned the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai and the leadership of ASUU to meeting aimed at finding a quick solution to the impasse.

  However, notwithstanding the planned peace moves, ASUU yesterday said that the strike will continue until the Federal Government honours the agreement reached with it.

  Meanwhile, academic activities at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) have been grounded as the ASUU leadership yesterday threatened sanction for any of her member who engaged in any academic exercise.
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  In a related development, staff of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Afikpo North council of Ebonyi State yesterday held a peaceful protest against what they called Federal Government’s intransigence and insensitivity over their plight.

  The minister, who disclosed this while speaking to reporters after declaring a consultative meeting she held with Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities at Abuja, however, appealed to the teachers to go back to the classrooms to enable a conducive negotiation environment to prevail.

  Rufai said the meeting, the first with the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities for this year was aimed at discussing issues that bother on governance in the university system in the country. It was attended by chief executives of federal, states and private universities.

  The minister, who declined elaborate comments on the efforts so far made to resolve the issues raised by the teachers’ union universities, however, was optimistic that the meeting with the universities’ heads  before the lawmakers today would help in resolving grey areas raised by the union.

  She added: “The meeting today (yesterday) is to see how we can enhance good management in our university system, it should not be misconstrued to mean that we are meeting on how to strategise  to deal with our colleagues, far from that. We are going to meet with ASUU and those that are concerned in the Senate tomorrow and I have to appear before the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Education, we will be there and our colleagues will be there and we will trash out the issues and I believe under that atmosphere, we will take decisions.

So by tomorrow, people will know about our relationship and what the Federal Government is doing so far.”

  The ASUU President, Dr Nasir I. Fagge, stated this yesterday at a civil society forum on the mid-term report of the government organised by Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group.

  He added that the question of how soon ASUU would call off the strike solely depended on the ability of the Federal Government to act swiftly on the 2009 agreement.

  He added: “Whether the strike will continue or it will not depends on the government. If government does what it is right, I assure you our members within the shortest possible time will look at what the government has done and then, we will call off the strike.

  ASUU chairman, UNN chapter Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Abada told The Guardian yesterday  in Nsukka that any lecturer involved in any academic activities during the period  of  ASUU national  strike will be punished accordingly.

  According to Abada, during the period of strike, “performing any academic activities like teaching, supervising exam, attending senate, boards, faculty or departmental meetings will be viewed as anti-ASUU activities”.

  Operating under the auspices of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, AIFPU chapter, the staff brandished placards bearing various inscriptions as they marched through the major streets of the town chanting solidarity songs.

  In a press conference, the Chairman of ASUP, Edmund Emeka Onyeneho, flanked by other officials of ASUP-AIFPU; said ordinarily Akanu Ibiam would never go on strike but “this very strike is a child of necessity born out of government’s insensitivity to the plight of the polytechnic lecturers and students.”

  Onyeneho said the federal authorities were behaving like the proverbial sheep that remembers that it has no horn only when the goat struck, pointing out that the government took precipitate but half hearted actions like constituting boards of some federal polytechnics except six, to address ASUP’s complaints of ASUP.
- ngrguardiannews

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