Quite contrary to expectations in some quarters, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Monday failed to deliberate on the ongoing strike action it embarked upon early in the year let alone suspend it as it has been whispered in some quarters.
It was gathered that the issue of suspending the industrial action did not come up for discussion as members of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union meeting to review the action so far. The meeting held in Abuja ended in the early hours of today.
It was further scooped that the national leadership of the union only briefed the meeting on their interactions and submissions made to the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee set up by the Federal Government to renegotiate the 2009 Agreement with the union.
A source said the leadership also told the meeting about the intervention of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the Matter and the subsequent nationwide solidarity rallies held by the Congress and its affiliates last week.
“Since there is no sign of any serious commitment on the part of the government, there was no need for the NEC to consider suspending the strike. Can anybody say this is what the government is offering? They were the ones who set up the Briggs Committee and it made recommendations and the government jettisoned the report.
“The government is not sincere. Let us assume that we are asking too much, which is not even the situation, is it not that the government will come out with its offers and we will deliberate whether to accept or not? We have been saying that they want to kill the university system just as they did public primary and secondary schools.
“How many Nigerians are now proud to send their children to public primary and secondary schools that we all attended in those days? The national leadership of the union will soon come out with our decisions,” the source said.
Recall that the union has been on strike since 14th February this year and non-teaching staff unions later embarked on their own strike.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday, solidarity rallies were held across the country and in Abuja to press the government to accede to the requests of the union and for immediate reopening of the universities.