By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-MINISTER of Education, Adamu Adamu, and his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige,were Thursday, lurked in a crucial meeting,over the ongoing strike declared Monday morning by the Academic Staff Union of Universities,ASUU.
This was as academic activities continued at the. University of Abuja unhindered.
The meeting by the two ministers, which was ongoing at a secret location in Abuja,according to Vanguard source, was aimed at reviewing the strike action by university lecturers with a view to coming out with a common position on how it should be handled.
Following the development, Mallam Adamu was conspicuously absent from his office even as some staff of the ministry approached for comments bluntly refused, claiming they were not authorised to speak with the press on any matter.
The meeting, which the source said was earlier slated 12:pm at the Minister of Labour’s office,was later shifted at the instance of Adamu to a location kept in secret at press time.
The two men,as gathered, would deliberate on the strike, its implications on not only the students bit also on the nation and come out with a common position which is to be captured in a joint statement to be issued later in the day, the source who would not want his name in print said.
The meeting,as gathered by the source, would also determined whether how the government will handle expected negotiation with ex executive members of the lecturers’ union.
Meanwhile, academic activities at the University Abuja, were seen going on smoothly Tuesday in spite of a strike declared Monday by the national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The university, according to its Public Relations Officer,Mallam Waziri Garba,has not received any notice from its ASUU branch intimating it of intention to go on strike yet.
But Garba told Vanguard on a telephone interview that the school was aware that the lecturers were having their meeting on Wednesday.
Vanguard gathered that the expected meeting of University of Abuja lecturers, will deliberate on the strike and come out with a common position backing the ongoing industry action .
It was gathered that the lecturers, after the Wednesday’s meeting, will joint the university lecturers’ strike on Thursday.
Recall that the national leadership of the union declared an indefinite strike Monday, citing inability of the federal government to honour agreement it entered with it in 2009,as major reason.
National President of ASUU,Biodun Ogunyemi,at a press conference in Abuja, said the action became necessary,owing to breach of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the 2009 FG/ASUU Agreement on financing of state universities; breach of the conditions of service; refusing to honour the Earned Academic Allowance,EAA,and re -negotiation of the agreement.
Ogunyemi said the 2009 agreement revolved around conditions of service,funding,university autonomy and academic freedom all of universities.