The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Tuesday heeded pleas from the Senate Committee on Education, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i and his Labour and Productivity counterpart, Chief Emeka Wogu, to end its seven-week-old strike.
However, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which was also invited to another meeting called by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Education, stayed away, prompting a member of the committee, Hon. Jerry Alaboso, to describe ASUU’s action as intellectual arrogance.
ASUU had on July 1, commenced a nationwide strike over alleged federal government’s refusal to implement the agreement it reached with it over unpaid entitlements since 2009.
At the meeting Tuesday, which was also attended by representatives of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), lawmakers, Rufa’i and Wogu, waited in vain expecting ASUU’s national executives.
The lawmakers were later told that ASUU officials were absent because they could no longer wait for the joint committee’s long meeting with ASUP and COEASU.
Polytechnic lecturers in the country under the aegis of ASUP, have been on strike since April 29.
However, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who chaired the meeting, was forced to schedule to another day for a meeting with ASUU officials, who were said to have left the Senate complex in anger, after waiting for several hours for the joint committee to end its meeting with ASUP and COEASU.
During the meeting, National President of ASUP, Dr. Chibuzor Asomugha, was prevailed upon to make commitment to end the strike within two weeks, while the government tidies up agreements on their demand.
“We will try everything within our ambits to do the bidding’s of the National Assembly on the need for us to call off the strike soonest,” he said.