Goodluck Jonathan, a former president of Nigeria, described how his administration ended a four-month long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in a single night.
The former president said he decided to arrange a parley between senior government officials and the leadership of the striking professors after prior attempts to settle the issues failed on Wednesday in Abuja during the commemoration of Matthew Hassan Kukah’s 70th birthday.
According to him, the misery of the students who were required to stay at home for four months was the driving force behind his decision to involve the union in an effort to settle the dispute amicably.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Ministers of Finance, Labor, and Education, as well as other high officials, were there, but according to him, the meeting still lasted all night.
He said, “The society we are managing is complex, now we are talking about the ASUU strike, during my time too, ASUU had four months of strike, different committees were meeting and meeting and nothing was working. I said how can our children stay out of school for four months? So I had to call a meeting of all the leadership of ASUU.
“I presided over the meeting with my vice president, the Attorney General was there, I said that that night we must solve the problem. The Attorney General was there, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was there, the minister of education was there, the labour minister was there, the finance minister, everybody that has to do with it.
“And I thought that my being there would help us to do things quickly. But we spent the whole night, before we finished it was like 5:30am, before we concluded and the strike was called off, so there were issues.”
According to Anaedoonline.ng, the union began a new strike on February 14, 2022, calling for the complete fulfillment of the agreements it had previously made with the government.
The Federal Government’s and stakeholders’ efforts to get the lecturers back in the classroom have been ineffective.
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