Parents, under the aegis of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, have said they only expect reports that would put an end to the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, as the National Executive Council, NEC, of the union meets to decide on the industrial action.
Speaking with Vanguard on Sunday, the National President of NAPTAN, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, also expressed optimism that the meeting would lead to the face-off between the union and the government being resolved.
Also speaking to our correspondent, the National President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Comtade Sunday Asefon, said if the lecturers are really fighting for students, they should suspend the strike.
“Our children have stayed at home for too long. As parents, we are not happy with that. My expectation and the expectation of other parents is that the strike be called off and that the union and the government should meet to iron out things and for progress to be made.
“This is not a time to apportion blame, but to find the way out of this logjam. We need to get our public universities running again,” Danjuma said.
Danjuma added that he was optimistic that things would turn out in the positive as a number of well-meaning Nigerians and opinion leaders have stepped into the matter.
According to Asefon, the issue of withheld salary should not stop the union from suspending the strike.
“Our expectation is that the strike be suspended. They should have a rethink. If they are actually fighting for students’ welfare and issues relating to students, enough is enough. Let them suspend the strike.
“Moreover, the issue of their salaries that are not yet paid should not debar them from calling off the action. That one can be sorted out when they resume work. This is not the first time the government would threaten to invoke “No work, no pay,” but it has always paid in the end. The future of Nigerian students is at stake here,” he added.
Meanwhile, the national leadership of the union started to meet on Sunday evening and that would be followed by the NEC which would collate views from across the branches of the union nationwide.
The position of the union is expected to be made public early Monday morning.
The union has been on strike since February 14 this year, while other non-academic staff unions which went on strike after them have suspended their own actions.