Reports Monday evening said leaders of Academic Staff Union of Universities,ASUU led by its President Dr Nasir Isa Fagge are holding a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.The meeting is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the lingering strike.
At the weekend , ASUU cautioned the president against forcefully opening the universities without resolving the fundamental issues over the union’s agreement with the federal government.
It is expected that today’s meeting will go a long way in resolving the impasse.Yesterday,Vice President Namadi Sambo , in Bauchi State, urged ASUU to reciprocate FG’s gesture by making positive concessions.
At the meeting with Jonathan is NLC President Abdulwahed Omar,Labour and education ministers among others.
President Jonathan is believed to have raised hopes that all the contending issues would be resolved at Monday’s meeting so that the campuses can come back to life again.
Also earlier today,President of the Senate Senator David Mark met with the officials of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) with a single agenda to resolve the impasse and return to the classrooms.
A press release after the meeting said there were indications that the four months old industrial dispute would be resolved as both the Senate President and the ASUU officials expressed sadness over the lingering crisis which has taken a severe toll on the nation.
Welcoming the ASUU delegation led by its president Dr. Nasir Fagge, Senator Mark noted that the strike action has taken a toll on the students, parents and even with the lecturers saying “it is time we resolve this matter in the interest of the nation.
” This is not a case of winners or losers. It is not a matter of ego. National interest is at stake. We must do all that is necessary to resolve this matter so that students and teachers return to classes.
“Nobody is happy about the strike action now in its fourth month. Nobody is happy that our educational system is threatened by this ugly development. Let us end this strike for good “Senator Mark pleaded.
In his remark, President of ASUU, Dr. Fagge,said the struggle was necessitated by the need to improve the infrastructure and learning environment in the universities with a view to producing graduates that can equal their counterparts any where in the world.
Dr. Fagge noted that the strike does not in any way profit the Lecturers but a needed sacrifice for government to do what is right in the education sector pointing out that ” we are not just lecturers, we are also parents and students, so the strike is also affecting us negatively.”
The lecturers, he added are neither happy nor proud of their products ( graduates) any more because they cannot compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe on account of poor learning environment.
The situation, he said has been made worse because Nigerians now migrate to other nations in the quest for quality education.
The meeting later went into a closed door parley for about two and half hours.
Those in attendance were professor Festus Iyayi, Dr. Dipo Fashina, Professor Abdullahi Sule-Kano , Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, Professor Victor Osodeke, Dr. A.B.Baffa, Professor Suleiman Abdul, Dr.victor Igbum,and Mr. Michael Odunmorayo.