LAGOS — National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, plans to hold a nation-wide protest as a last resort to force the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to end the protracted strike of university lecturers.
NANS’ President, Yinka Gbadebo, responding to allegations that the students’ body was not bothered by the 60-day-old strike, said the union had been employing other matured approaches to appeal to both the government and ASUU.
According to him, “NANS is not relaxed but we have decided to take approaches that don’t require us to make noise. We have been meeting with executive members of ASUU, the Nigerian Universities Commission, Minister of Education and the FG.
“We have also written to meet with the universities NEEDS Implementation Committee chairman and Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswan. If we don’t receive any response by the end of the week (i.e. today), we would issue an ultimatum and take it up from there.
“I have been consulting with all SUG leaders in the affected schools so that we would speak with one voice. Going to the streets would be our last option but we would do so to protest how long this strike has lingered.”
NLC to intervene in FG, ASUU crisisMEANWHILE the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said on Thursday, that it will meet members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in order to ensure university lecturers return to the negotiating table to continue discussion with the government.
ASUU had been on strike since July 1, demanding that the Federal Government implements an agreement it signed with them in 2009. The two parties, government and the ASUU commenced negotiation to resolve the crisis, but had last week, pulled out of negotiations, accusing government of insincerity in the talks.
President of the NLC, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, said after the congress emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the Labour House in Abuja, efforts were ongoing to convince ASUU to resume discussions with the Federal Government, with a view to restoring normalcy to the nation’s university system.
He pointed out that NLC was studying the bone of contention and was intervening to ensure that a robust discussion continued, which would ultimately lead to an amicable resolution of the crisis.
Omar said: “It is a very serious issue we are having on our hands, allowing lecturers to be out of the classrooms for close to two months. We are currently embarking on consultation with a view to convincing members of the union to resume negotiation with the Federal Government.”
He stated that NLC also deliberated on the Senate’s proposal for the removal of the labour matters from the Exclusive Legislative List, stating that the union has put in place an action plan to confront the move.
According to him, the NLC would work with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the matter, stressing that organised labour had already started making personal contact with people-friendly members of the National Assembly.
Related: United States urge FG to work with ASUU to end Strike