By Taye Obateru
Jos – The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has welcomed the planned intervention by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State in the face off between it and the Federal Government but called for sincerity on the part of all concerned for it to bear fruit.
ASUUâ€™s National President, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie told journalists yesterday after addressing members of the University of Jos Chapter of the union that ASUU had always welcomed interventions that could lead to the resolution of the problem but regretted that previous efforts had not yielded fruits because of governmentâ€™s recalcitrance.
â€œI hope that as a colleague Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomohole will approach the assignment with all sense of sincerity and with patriotic dispositionâ€ recalling how a similar intervention by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan failed because government refused to shift grounds.
Awuzie who said he was in Jos in continuation of his visit to zones to encourage members to sustain the struggle declared that he was unmoved by the threat of sack from the Imo State University where he works. He vowed that he would not succumb to intimidation.
â€œI am not afraid of being sacked. I want you to know that Iâ€™m the only Professor of Landscaping Architecture in Nigeria and moreover, government doesnâ€™t have the right to sack anybody because government does not employâ€, he said.
He said the current struggle by ASUU was in the best interest of the country to save university education stressing, â€œAll we are after is sound academic environment coupled with modern equipment. If all these continue to elude the students, it would be a double jeopardy for both the country and the students. So the struggle is for the improvement of the system.â€
The ASUU national president reiterated that the impression being created in some quarters that it was the union that withdrew from negotiation was part of the attempt to discredit it adding that it was actually the Federal Government that withdrew from negotiations.
He said the union was always ready for talks or negotiations on ending the strike but said any intervention must be sincere and realistic.
He had earlier briefed the congress of the UNIJOS chapter on how the struggle had progressed so far stressing the need to sustain the struggle despite threats or intimidation in the overall interest of university education in the country.