Eight-month ASUU strike ends soon, says Gbajabiamila


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Monday, said the eight-month strike by university lecturers will soon be called off.

While Gbajabiamila said most of the issues that caused the protracted crisis between ASUU and the Federal Government had been resolved and that the strike would end “in a matter of days,” President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said for the first time since the lecturers started the strike, “we have seen light at the end of the tunnel.”

Talking in the same vein, ASUU’s lead counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), who spoke in Abuja on Monday also expressed assurance that the strike will be called off in a couple of days

Our correspondent gathered that both parties have opted for an out-of-court settlement and most of the issues have been resolved.

“We are working towards an out-of-court settlement. Most of the issues have been touched and the ones remaining will be resolved in a few days so the strike will be called off soon,” the human rights lawyer said.

The reports that the strike, which started on February 14, 2022, entered its day 239th on Tuesday (today).

The union embarked on strike over what it described as the failure of the government to meet its demands.

The House intervened in the crisis during which the lawmakers held three stakeholders’ meetings, and after which the parties made a seven-point resolution which Gbajabiamila presented to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The Speaker for the second time had a follow-up meeting with Buhari on Friday.

The Speaker had called a meeting with the national leadership of ASUU about his meetings with the President over the crisis.

Before Gbajabiamila and Osodeke spoke on Monday, both parties met behind closed doors at the Speaker’s office for about one hour.

Emerging from the meeting, the Speaker said, “We are happy to report that as a result of the consultation and intervention of the House, very significant progress has been made. We are just dotting some ‘i’s and crossing some ‘t’s.”

Gbajabiamila said the contentious issue of ‘no work no pay’ had been resolved and that the President will speak on it.

“I believe we have covered most of the thorny issues. What we have agreed with ASUU is basically to put everything on paper and sign off, and I believe if we had met yesterday and the papers had been drawn up, ASUU, I am sure, would have called off the strike today. But we only just met behind closed doors now, and so we have to draw up the agreement as I have stated to you.

“Hopefully, in the next couple of days. Of course, ASUU has to get back to its bases as well. Once that is agreed, I am very hopeful and very excited about the possibility or probability the strike would be called off in a matter of days,” he added.

Responding, the ASUU President said the leadership of the union would go back to its chapters for consultation.

He said, “We have met briefly in the Speaker’s office and looked at all the issues. He has briefed us. We have taken note of what they have covered. As you know, in my union, we operate bottom-up; we don’t take decisions on their behalf without taking their consent.

“We have agreed that between now and tomorrow, we are going to get some documentation – signed— that we can take to our members. We will do that as quickly as possible in the interest of all of us, Nigerians and the students so that this thing can be resolved as quickly as possible.

“From what we have seen today, for the first time since our action started, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel because this is the first time we are having such thing as an attempt by anybody or group to create something that will also make us not to run into anything again. We do hope that this will be the final in the interest of our children.”

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