The leadership of the House of Representatives will meet the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday over the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, The PUNCH has learnt.
A top Presidency source, who did not want his name in print because he was not authorised to speak to journalists on the matter, told our correspondent on Sunday that the lawmakers are scheduled to present to Buhari their recommendations from meetings they had with stakeholders on the strike.
The PUNCH had reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, said the House will prepare the report of the House’s intervention in the ongoing strike and meet the President on the matter.
Speaking at the last meeting of the House Leadership with stakeholders comprising members of ASUU and representatives of the Federal Government, the lawmaker said the report will reflect their interactions on the FG-ASUU face-off and provide recommendations to enable the President to assess the situation from an informed second option.
Gbajabiamila, however, did not disclose when his team will meet the President.
“We will put together our recommendations and our thoughts and take it to Mr President, that is why we are here to interface and look for solutions,” he had said.
However, the Presidency source, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “The leaders of the House of Representatives are scheduled to see the President in the coming week. They are on the programme. The President will receive them at 3pm on Tuesday.”
FG warns ASUU
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has advised the leadership of ASUU to stop directing its members to continue with the strike in defiance of the interlocutory injunction by the National Industrial Court which restrained the union from further action.
This call was contained in a statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Olajide Oshundun, on Sunday.
Ngige had accused the union’s leadership, saying, “The union is dishonest and misleading its members and the general public, that it has filed an appeal as well as a stay of execution of the order of National Industrial Court on September 21, 2022, though it has not.
“Rather, ASUU only applied for permission to appeal the order. Also attached to the application, is a proposed notice of appeal which it intends to file if the leave to appeal is granted. The application for a stay of execution as of this moment has not even been listed for hearing. Where then is ASUU coming from?
“It is therefore contemptuous, dishonest and misleading for the union to tell its members that it has not only appealed the interlocutory injunction by the National Industrial Court, directing it to call off the strike and return to work but that it also has a stay of execution.”
The minister, in a separate statement, also denied walking out in a meeting between the House of Representatives and ASUU
Sokoto State University
Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, has ordered members of the Sokoto State University branch of ASUU to resume classes or forfeit their salary forthwith.
He asked them to reconsider their position and go back to work, maintaining that the issues raised by ASUU branches in federal universities are not the same as what obtains in the state university.
He urged them to resume work if they have the interest of the state and its students at heart, stressing that last month he stopped the payment of their salary because he has been magnanimous enough by paying them more than five months’ salary without work.