National Executive Council, NEC, of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will Sunday night/ Monday morning decide on whether the union would continue its over six months strike that has left most public universities in the country shut down.
However, feelers from sources in the union suggest that baring any last minute change of mind, the union would continue the industrial action. The development may leave it as the only union in the university system that is 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 actions for a few months to allow the Federal Government look into their demands.
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 steps the government takes on the issue. “We are no strangers to government threatening to ban our union.
It happened a number of times during the military period and we outlived those regimes. We are fighting a just cause. If the education sector in the country becomes better, we will all benefit. The people in government are not bothered with what happens to the sector because their children are not schooling here.
“I would not say this is what our decision will be because we have to collate opinions from our various branches that conducted congresses some days ago and whatever the majority says will be done. If the majority opinion goes for a continuation of the strike and the government takes any step, we will react appropriately, ” he said.
It was also gathered that the comment by the National President of ASUU, Prof . Emmanuel Osodeke, describing some state universities that have opted out of the strike as quacks, has generated ripples and there is the possibility of some of the branches in the state universities opting out of the strike. Already, the Kwara State University, Kaduna State University, and Ekiti State University have lampooned Osodeke for his comments and noted that most of the issues at stake are peculiar to federal universities.
It was also gathered that the FG may direct 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. Also, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has also begged ASUU to consider whatever offers the government presents in the interest of the students.
The National President, Sunday Asefon, said it would not support the union if it continues the industrial action.
“Let them have pity on students that have been at home for months. If the strike is not called off, we won’t support the union in this fight again. Let them make concessions and live to fight another day,” he said.