*Makes proposal to ASUU
*ASUU agrees to consider Presidency’s Position at its NEC
When Scan-News reported exclusively that some top elder statesmen had intervened to resolve the ASUU strike, it seemed far-fetched. But less than two weeks after that report, the fruits of the diplomatic efforts are coming to the fore.
The private steps taken by the elder statesmen and top government officials have yielded positive results as President Jonathan on thursday mandated VP Namadi Sambo to inter-face with the ASUU leadership and quickly resolve the strike.
In an interview after the meeting at the State House, the ASUU President, Nasir Fagge, said that he was taking back a “message given to him at the meeting for his members” and that Nigerians would have to wait for the response of his members on the way forward.
“We have had a meeting with the Vice President and he has given us a message to our members, and we said that as the messengers that we are, we are going to deliver the message faithfully to our members and then they will take the decision.”
He said, “I know Nigerians are expecting a solution to the strike, we also want a solution, but I have been given a message to our members. The message is not for Nigerians, it is for our members”.
“If I deliver the message, our principal will decide and we will get back to the ministry of education within this week,” he added, saying the union would get back to the education minister on its stance on the government’s latest offer.”
This is the first the ASUU President has back tracked. The elders across the country who intervened during the meetings that SCAN-NEWS reported asked ASUU to respond to the good faith that the government has shown.
Scan-News learnt that the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike faciliated the take over of negotiation by VP Sambo, after he deployed his political contacts at the Presidency to ensure that the President gave the directive.
Wike also met with Committee of Vice Chancellors on thursday whom he convinced to play a more visible role in resolving the strike. A vice chancellor from the North West who attended the thursday meeting told Scan-News that the meeting was the very first time that Vice Chancellors have been taken in confidence and given the mandate to work to resolve the crisis in the shortest possible time.
The VC told Scan-News in confidence: “The Supervising Minister’s style is pragmatic and it always yields results. Just imagine how he has re-awaken a dead process. We are optimistic this matter will be resolved since the highest level of government is involved”.
Officials who attended the meeting at the President maintained a sealed leap on the new offer by the Jonathan administration. However, it is said to be an improvement on the N100billion for infrastructure and N30billion for earned allowances.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, who was also at the meeting, explained that the meeting had been convened to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
“One is quite hopeful that ASUU is committed, they have the passion and that there is the need for us to move the education sector forward.
“ASUU coming to discuss means that they are committed on their own part and that the federal government is also committed. We have gone very far, we believe that in no distance time, you will have a very good result,” he said.
Also on the ASUU delegation were two former Presidents of ASUU, Dipo Fasina and Abdullahi Sule-Kano.
Other members of the government’s delegation included the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Julius Okojie; as well as the Vice Chancellors of Bayero University Kano (BUK), University of Ibadan (UI) and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, Abdulrasheed Abubakar, Isaac Adewole, and Muhammed Muhammed respectively.
Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the ASUU leadership and members to declare their position on the President’s proposal after their next meeting. – Scan News