Senator Chris Ngige, Labour Minister

By Juliet Umeh

President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, yesterday, accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, of misinforming President Muhammadu Buhari on the union’s strike.

He also blasted the Labour Minister for abusing his colleague ministers who were part of the negotiation process.

Speaking on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Osodeke said if the president had been properly briefed, he would not have made such a statement.

It would be recalled that the president had, while playing host to APC governors in his Daura, Katsina, residence last week, said enough was enough, warning that ASUU had, by virtue of its continued strike, which had been on for five months now, said the union was endangering the lives of future generations of Nigeria.

On the negotiation, Prof Osodeke said the union was not aware of the figure being circulated by the Federal Government as the amount needed to resolve the strike.

Osodeke was reacting to the N1.2 trillion Senator Ngige said the Federal Government would need to pay the salaries and allowances of university staff, including ASUU members.

“If the president had been properly briefed by the committee through the Minister of Education, I don’t think the president would have said enough is enough, go to your class while we are negotiating.

“It is the Labour minister and his group that would have gone to the president to tell him that  we chased out his people, we refused salary.

“We are not aware of where their so-called figure arrives from. In all our agreement and discussion, we didn’t talk about N1.2 trillion or N2.4 trillion, or whatever. We didn’t.

“We didn’t calculate the quantum of what we would need. We calculated what each member of our union will earn.”

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