The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed hope that its ongoing negotiation with the Federal Government over their long-standing differences that have crippled academic activities in the nation’s public universities for about five months now would be over soon.
The President of the union, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, gave this hope in an exclusive interview with Tribune Online at the weekend.
He was asked for an update on the union’s position as regards its ongoing negotiation with the Federal Government team led by Prof Nimi Briggs, who is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).
The ASUU boss said that even though calling off the strike is not a personal decision but that of the union congress, all he could say for now is that their negotiation with the Federal Government team was still ongoing and at the advanced stage of reaching conclusion.
He said ASUU would definitely let the media and members of the public know its stance on the negotiation and the way forward at the appropriate time.
“But for now, we are still negotiating and to conclude on this very soon,” he emphasised.
There was a mild drama when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) rejected Berekete Family radio’s intervention to end the ongoing strike.
On Saturday morning, host of the radio programme, Ahmad Isah, popularly known as Ordinary President, invited ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, and his team, to explain to Nigerians the perennial problems and state why the union is still on strike.
Isah also said he had set up a special intervention bank account domiciled in TAJ Bank to raise funds for the union, with a view to ending the strike.
Apparently, to convince ASUU to buy into the idea of the intervention, Isah publicly showed the N50 million cash donated by Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.
Immediately after the money was displayed, ASUU President frowned at the development, saying they should not be associated with such.
At that point, Isah threatened to discontinue the intervention, and many Nigerians who phoned in during the programme described ASUU as ”insensitive”.