Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Striking Academic Staff Union of Universities and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities on Sunday said the Federal Government had yet to reach out to them since the Nigeria Labour Congress announced plan to hold nationwide solidarity protests on Tuesday and Wednesday.
They also said they were still awaiting official communication from the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, days after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), directed the minister and other government officials to resolve the ongoing strike by the unions.
Recall that the NLC had last week announced that it would embark on a joint protest with other affiliate unions to protest the lingering strike of university workers in the country since February 14, 2022.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had however declared the planned protest illegal while his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige, claimed that a report by the Department of State Services had warned against protest.
Speaking to The PUNCH on Sunday, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, explained that the protest would go on as planned, adding that the government had yet to meet any of their demands.
“We have not heard anything from the FG and no formal invitation from them. All they have been saying was that the planned protest is illegal. They don’t want to do what they are supposed to do,” he said.
Also, the National President, SSANU, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, said, “I have not been contacted and my union has not been contacted, as I speak to you we are still expectant that they will speak to us but the protest will still go on.
“The protest is an expression of our feelings on how we are being treated. Today is the 128th day of our strike. All universities have been shut, but their children are in private schools and abroad. So, what do you expect from them?”
When asked in a separate interview if Adamu had reached out to ASUU after last week’s presidential directive to ensure the issues around the strike are resolved, Osodeke said, “We spoke and it was agreed that we would meet, but we are still awaiting official communication as regards that.”
When contacted, the Ministry of Education’s spokesperson, Ben Goong, said, “There is a presidential directive and that will be followed to the letter.”
Recall that the strike by ASUU enters 161st day on Monday (today).