27 November 2013
ASUU STRIKE UPDATE: Pro-chancellors Order Universities Open Nationwide
The communiqué signed by the Chairman of the Committee, Professor Kimse Okoko, was made available to newsmen late Tuesday in Abuja.
The communiqué was issued at the end of the committee meeting to discuss the protracted strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other issues affecting the Nigerian university system.
The communiqué stated that the decision to re-open the universities was unanimously agreed by all pro-chancellors in the overall interest of all concerned.
The pro-chancellors, in the communique, directed all vice chancellors to comply with the committee decision.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the decision of the pro-chancellors was predicated on the earlier referendum held by various chapters of ASUU that voted 60-40 in favour of suspension of the over four months old strike.
They expressed dismay that all efforts to resolve the crisis, including the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan, has failed.
The communiqué recognised "all effort by Federal Government to address the major issues involved in the strike action including the bold and the supportive intervention by Mr President."
It also stated that the committee noted "with satisfaction the outcome of the referendum conducted in all branches of ASUU nationwide which voted 60-40 in favour of the suspension of the ongoing strike by ASUU."
The pro-chancellors called for the understanding of ASUU and indeed all staff of the various universities in Nigeria.
This order is coming on the heels of polarisation that has already crept into the ASUU, following the meeting they had with President Goodluck Jonathan penultimate week.
Nigerians were amazed that the emergency National Executive Council meeting, held in Kaduna last weekend, came out with fresh conditions for suspension of strike after it was rumoured that a deal was struck with President Jonathan.
ASUU has been on strike since July 1 and the NEC meeting was to deliberate on the resolutions of various chapters of ASUU on whether the strike should be suspended or not based on the offers by the government.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the pro-chancellors were aggrieved that even when majority of the members of ASUU want the strike called off, few elements in the union have refused to yield to the popular desire of the members.
Meanwhile, the crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter of ASUU, over its continued participation in the ongoing strike action by the union's national body, worsened on Tuesday as the two factions in the crisis openly traded insults.
The congress, called on Monday, saw a sharp division in the chapter with a faction favouring a pull-out from the strike action, giving a week ultimatum to open the institution.
The faction also promised undisclosed further actions if the ultimatum was not met, after it held a separate congress following the disruption of the earlier one.