The National Executive Council of the striking Academic Staff of Universities will meet on Monday night.
Sources in the union revealed that after the meeting, NEC members will meet Federal Government officials later in the week.
ASUU had last week Monday declared a nationwide four-week roll-over strike after a two-day meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka.
The union said it had no option but to embark on the strike, saying despite meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on October 14, 2021, on issues, including funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution; promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment, none of its demands had been met.
Investigations revealed that as of Sunday afternoon, some members of ASUU NEC had arrived Abuja in readiness for the meeting.
While confirming the meeting to our correspondent, the national chairman, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said if the government was responsive, there would be no need for the strike to last for weeks.
“It is just a meeting; they are inviting us for a meeting within the week. They will tell us why they called. I don’t know what they plan to tell us, we will meet them within the week,” he said.
He told Nigerians to “Appeal to the government to implement the agreement we signed with them. The strike can be called off any day, it is in the government’s hand if they want it to last for a week, two weeks, one month, a year, or more. It is the government that will decide when they want the strike to end. Our position is that they should agree and implement what they signed with us. If they are responsive, it doesn’t need to last for weeks. We have given them one month to react.”
Also, the ASUU Chairman, Federal University, Dutsin-ma, Dr Jibrin Shagari, in an interview with The PUNCH, confirmed that the union’s NEC members will converge on Abuja on Monday night.
Shagari said, “Yes, I can confirm that our national officers will be in Abuja on Monday night where they will meet and later meet the Federal Government.”
ASUU rules out confidence in FG as meeting holds
Meanwhile, union members still do not believe that the government is ready to meet their demands.
The Chairman, ASUU, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Dr Gbenga Adeleye, insisted that the union would not call off the strike if their demands were not met.
He said, “We are on strike. If they don’t do what they are supposed to do, we are not going to call off the strike.
“There is nothing about whether we are confident or not confident.
“It is for them to meet our demands, if they are not meeting our demands, we are not calling off the strike.”
Similarly, the Chairman of ASUU at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, in a statement on Sunday, said, so far, those in charge of the Ministry of Education had displayed gross incompetence and lack the interests of the masses.
Akinwole described the FG as a slave merchant, who only listened and implemented he destructive policy recommendations of the International Monetary fund and World Bank against the larger interest of Nigerians.
He said, “The Federal Government lacks integrity. It is sad. The government cannot be trusted any longer. We have been on the same salary for 13 years and it is even shameful to show anyone your payslip.
“When compared to the work we do, we have sacrificed for Nigeria to the detriment of our wellbeing and this is already dampening the morale of our people.
“Federal Government should sign the renegotiated agreement, implement it, roll out UTAS, pay unpaid earned academic allowances, commit more funds into the revitalisation of universities.
“Parents should impress it on the government to sign the new welfare package for our members. If we fail to fight for our rights, the slave merchants in government will continue to trade with our future and future of the children of the masses.”