ASUU STRIKE: FG, ASUU To Meet Again Next Week
Academic Staff Union of Universities met across the country on Thursday to consider the offer by the Federal Government.
The ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Faggae after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan which ended in the early hours of Tuesday had told reporters that the union would take back an undisclosed message to their members.
The PUNCH gathered that the striking public universities lecturers met in the nine zones of ASUU with branch chairmen to discuss the outcome of the meeting with the President.
The meetings presided over by zonal coordinators afforded them (zonal coordinators) the opportunity to brief the branch chairmen about the offer made by the Federal Government to revamp the public universities across the country.
The Federal Government had at the last Tuesday marathon meeting agreed to inject N1.1tn into the universities over the next five years. The money, the Federal Government promised, would be released at the rate of N220bn annually starting from 2014.
The Ibadan zone of ASUU held its meeting at the Federal University Abeokuta on Thursday while that of the North Central Zone took place at the Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State.
Sources at both meetings said that though the union officials were not happy that the N400bn per year they asked for was not granted, they were however happy at the sincerity of purpose displayed by President Jonathan.
Though they expressed varied opinion about the offer, they were unanimous in commending Jonathan for being the first Nigerian leader to meet with the union.
When contacted, the Coordinator of the North Central Zone, Dr. Suleiman Mohammad declined comments on the meeting.
Mohammed, who said he was attending to some pressing issues, said only the ASUU President could speak on the issue.
But feelers across the zones, however, suggested that the lecturers might have accepted the offer of the government.
Although branch chairmen still have to call congresses, it was gathered that the union may have made up its mind to call off the strike after meeting with the Federal Government again next week.
A top official of the union said “We are happy with the humility shown by Jonathan to personally meet with us. This is the first time a sitting President will meet with the union to thrash out issues. Members were impressed with him and the strong commitment that he displayed. But some expressed fear that the new deal could go the way of past agreements that were not honoured.