At last Good News for polytechnics students, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has finally suspended their 10-month old strike.The strike, which started in October 2013, was suspended Saturday morning at the National Executive Council (NEC), meeting of the union held in Abuja.
ASUP President, Dr. Chibuzor Asomugha, who confirmed the suspension of the strike to The Guardian, said the union has decided to call off the strike for three months, adding that all striking lecturers have been directed to resume work on Tuesday for academic activities.
Speaking further, Shekarau added: “I am happy you noted that I am just coming in; and I will need a little more time to study the issues on ground and see how much we can get out of all the issues you raised. The issues you have raised as far as I am concerned are not totally insurmountable. They are issues that will lead to dialogue and understanding with the spirit of give and take.”
He, however, urged the lecturers to return to class by giving him “benefit of the doubt while dialogue continues.” He promised not to let them down.
In an interview with journalists shortly after the meeting with the minister, Asomugha said: “Our demands are not really complicated as it is. All we ask government to do is make a commitment to dialogue, a commitment to assurance; that is what we are asking government to do. There are issues on ground. We are not negotiating anymore; we have reached understanding on these issues. Let government give us concrete timetable about how these issues will be resolved.”
On the position of ASUP, given the plea of the minister that the union call off the strike, Asomugha stated: “We have a background of being asked on the trust of some other government officials of which we have done. This is a new minister; we know he has a good background. The next thing we will do is because we have a representation, the Council of National Offices. This strike was called by the National Executive Council of ASUP. I think that we are duty bound to convene NEC and convey the message of the Honourable Minister to NEC. It is NEC that will make a decision on the way forward.”
ASUP leadership held what it termed a fruitful meeting with the newly sworn in Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau on Thursday July 10th.