The meeting between the Federal government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ended in a deadlock on Tuesday August 16, with no end in sight to the lingering strike by the academic union.
The striking lecturers met with the Professor Nimi Briggs committee today for about three hours at the National University Commission in Abuja in a bid to resolve the issues that led to the six-month and counting strike.
The striking lecturers who attended the meeting said that the Federal government delegation did not come with any new offer to the table except to beg the lecturers to call off the strike with promises that their demands will be included in the 2023 budget.
Recall that Festus Keyamo, spokesperson for the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has blamed the Peoples Democratic Party for the ongoing ASUU strike in the country.
He made this statement in an interview on Trust TV’s Daily Politics on Monday August 15, Keyamo said ASUU is on strike because of the 2009 agreement signed by the Peoples Democratic Party-led government.
He claimed that between 1999 and 2015 when the PDP handed over to the ruling APC, ASUU was on strike 12 times, amounting to 900 days.
“The ASUU thing you are talking about. What is the problem of ASUU now? It’s the 2009 agreement signed by PDP government. They signed agreements with ASUU they couldn’t fulfill. We had to inherit those agreements and now struggling to renegotiate those agreements.
“Imagine how irresponsible a government can be when they went into agreements with ASUU and signed conditions that they couldn’t fulfill and that is why ASUU is on strike so let us tell Nigerians that ASUU is not on strike because APC signed an agreement with them. It was the PDP that signed the agreement.
“We are not shifting blame; we are going to tackle the problem. Between 1999 and 2015 when they handed over to the APC, ASUU was on strike 12 times. I have the statistics amounting to 900 days.”
While Reacting to the claim, spokesperson for the (PDP) presidential campaign, Daniel Bwala, who appeared on Trust TV alongside Keyamo, said during the PDP government, there were constructive engagements between the parties when ASUU or any of the labour unions was on strike.
“Ask Adams Oshimole who was the Lord Lugard of labour unionism of that time. He was very blunt, strong and constant on that. In all of those periods when they were on strike either by ASUU or any of the labour unions around the time of PDP, there were constructive engagement, which means all parties were honest, realistic. The argument ASUU is making on all occasions when they were on strike this present government shift the goal post..”