ASUU Strike 2013 Update: Strike Will be Called Off by Dec 9, Says Kaigama
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The ASUU strike in 2013 continues, but the latest news points to the strike being called off soon.
Bobboi Kaigama, the president of the Trade Union Congress, says that the strike will be called off before the new December 9 deadline laid down by the federal government.
The government and the ASUU leadership have been hurling insults at each other over the past weeks, following a meeting between the two sides that had at first appeared to resolve the strike.
Kaigama said that both sides will come to an agreement soon.
“We will mediate and call back both parties to the negotiation table,” he said, reported the New Mail. “The good thing is that they are both committed to ending the strike.”
Kaigama has been involved in the negotiations for a while, including at the marathon meeting between union leaders and President Goodluck Jonathan, he said.
Leadership from the National Labor Congress is also participating in the negotiations, Kaigama said.
“Myself and my colleague from the NLC will ensure that this issue is quickly resolved. The most important thing is that both parties want a quick end to the strike. What is happening right now is as a result of a break in communication,” he said.
ASUU Branch Leader Says Strike is Close to Being Called Off
Additionally, the ASUU chairman of the University of Ibadan branch of the union said that the strike would be called off soon.
Dr. Segun Ajiboye told ThisDayLive that the strike is close to being called off, especially as the federal government has begun to shift its position, in his words. He’s likely referring to the N200 billion that the government has paid for university infrastructure improvements that was aimed at smoothing negotiations.
Ajiboye didn’t give further details.
Fagge Says Government Hasn’t Opened Bank Account
Despite assurances by the presidency that the N200 billion has been deposited in a bank account, ASUU President Dr. Nasir Fagge insisted that it hasn’t.
He said, though, that once it has the committee that is supposed to distribute funds will start doing so. Then, “our members will have no reason not to suspend the strike action,” he said in an interview on Channels, reported InformationNG.
“Why won’t government make available this money so that we know the money is there and the universities commence drawing from this money to address the problem of decay in infrastructure, teaching and research facilities? When that is done, our members will suspend the strike.”
Government Warns Union
Meanwhile, the government warned the union to suspend the strike immediately, saying that the conditions the union set out at the beginning of the strike in July have all been met.
“Given due considerations to the four items mentioned by ASUU as preconditions for their calling off the strike, we state categorically that none of them remains substantially pending or weighty enough to justify the continuation of the strike,” said Dr. Doyin Okupe, special assistant to President Jonathan, reported the Leadership.
“Therefore, there are no further legitimate reasons for the strike by university teachers to continue a day longer. We therefore call on Dr Nasir Fagge, his distinguished colleagues in the ASUU leadership as well as other patriotic members of their union to put all else aside and call off this strike in the interest of our young men and women who have been kept out of school for five months and who have no recourse to any form of compensation whatsoever.”