The National Executive Council, NEC, of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will decide on Sunday night/Monday morning whether the union will continue its more than six-month strike that has closed most public universities in the country.
However, union sources indicate that the union will continue the industrial action, if it changes its mind at the last minute. The development may leave it as the only union in the university system still on strike.
Others, namely the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, have suspended their action for several months to let the Federal Government look into . in their claims.
A member of NEC, who is also a zonal chairman of the union, told Sunday Vanguard in confidence that the members are ready for whatever action the government takes on the issue. “We are no stranger to the government threatening to ban our union.
This happened a number of times during the military period and we survived those regimes. We are fighting a just cause. If the education sector in the country gets better, we will all benefit from it. The people in the government are not bothered about what is happening to the sector because their children do not go to school here.
“I will not say that is what our decision will be because we have to gather opinions from our various branches that held congresses a few days ago and whatever the majority says will be done. If the majority opinion is for a continuation of the strike and the government takes any step, we will respond accordingly,” he said.
It was also gathered that the comments by the National President of ASUU, prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who described some state universities that withdrew from the strike as quacks, has caused ripples and there is a possibility that some of the branches in the state universities will refuse to withdraw from the strike. Already, Kwara State University, Kaduna State University and Ekiti State University have singled out Osodeke for his comments, noting that most of the issues raised are peculiar to federal universities.
It was also gathered that the FG could instruct the vice-chancellors to reopen the schools and register lecturers who are ready to work.
Such lecturers would be paid, while those who refuse would not. The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has also begged ASUU to consider any offers made by the government in the interest of the students.
The national president, Sunday Asefon, said he would not support the union if he continued the industrial action.
“Let them feel sorry for students who have been at home for months. If the strike is not called off, we will not support the union in this fight again. Let them make concessions and live to fight another day,” he said.