By Joseph Erunke
AS ultimatum given by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to the government to implement its demands or face another round of industrial action ended on Sunday, the former has said Nigerians will know its position within 24 hours.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, told Vanguard on the telephone that the union would declare its position shortly after consultations with branches had been made.
He said the meeting held by the principal officers on Sunday resolved to proceed on consultation with branches as prescribed by ASUU’s laid-down rule, after which a position would be taken.
The consultation which he said was ongoing, would be through within the next twenty-four hours, after which the union would come out with its position.
On the outcome of the meeting the union held Sunday, Osodeke said: “It is the principal officers that met yesterday (Sunday).
“Following our procedures, we are going to the branches to consult them and then we will come to take final decision.”
On how long it would take the union to come out with its position, he said: “Immediately, you will hear from them today (yesterday).”
Recall that the ultimatum given by the union for government to accede to its demands or face another round of strike ended on Sunday.
The union had threatened to embark on another round of strike, following Federal Government’s failure to implement the Memorandum of Action, MoA, agreed upon.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU National President, at a news conference at the union’s National Secretariat, University of Abuja, had called on parents and all patriotic Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible if it failed to address the issues within three weeks after the news conference.
According to him, despite the union’s meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on October 14, on major outstanding issues, including funding for revitalisation of public universities and earned academic allowances.
Other outstanding issues, he said, were University Transparency Accountability Solution, UTAS, promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and the inconsistencies in IPPIS payment, which up till now had not been addressed.
“ASUU is fully committed to upholding academic integrity in the universities and is working to make them more globally competitive.
‘’We are equally committed to promoting industrial harmony in the Nigerian university system for as long as all stakeholders are willing and committed to play their parts.
“We call on all vice-chancellors, as the main drivers of the system, to join us in this mission to safeguard the waning image of our universities.
“They have no business trading honorary degrees and academic positions for personal and immediate gains; thereby smearing the collective integrity of committed scholars and other patriots who are working day and night to uplift the system that produced them.
“Our union shall not shy away from taking the fight to administrators of Nigerian universities as well as internal and external agents who are bent on compromising the standards ASUU has consistently laboured to protect and improve.”
“The government of Nigeria should be held responsible should ASUU be forced to activate the strike it patriotically suspended.”
“We call on all patriotic Nigerians and lovers of Nigeria to prevail on the federal and state governments to act fast to prevent another round of industrial crisis in Nigeria’s public universities,” Osodeke had said.