The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will hold a crucial meeting this weekend.
The meeting will among others determine if the lecturers will proceed on a nationwide strike or not.
Prior to the meeting, ASUU had asked all its branches in the various universities to conduct referendum of members to decide whether or not a nationwide strike should be held over its demands. The decision to conduct the referendum was reached at the National Executive Council meeting of the union held in July at the Nasarawa State University, NSU.
The final decision on the strike is expected to be made after a review of the referendum conducted by the chapters.
The scheduled meeting where ASUU will take its final decision starts today (Friday) and ends on Sunday (August 13) in Abuja.
An earlier deadline given by ASUU to the federal government to meet its demands ended today (Friday).
While the location of the meeting in Abuja is yet to be disclosed as at the time of this report, representatives of various branches have started arriving Abuja awaiting more information on the venue of the meeting.
An official of the union, who doesn’t want to be named in the press, said, “By Sunday a position will be reached. Already, referendum has been completed, so we will deliberate on the developments.”
When contacted, the ASUU National President, Biodun Ogunyemi, told PREMIUM TIMES that until he would not speculate on the decisions to be reached.
“Until I receive branch decisions, I would not want to speculate,” he said. “But our decisions will be fully communicated.”
The lecturers major demands include issues concerning the welfare of members as well as funding of universities. ASUU had said several university lecturers across states are only being paid part of their salaries. ASUU and the federal government have been negotiating these demands since November 2016.
The union also demanded that government ensures the release of University of Maiduguri lecturers kidnapped by Boko Haram.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the lecturers, members of an oil exploration team hired by the state oil firm NNPC, were kidnapped by the terror group. The Boko Haram later released a video showing the lecturers begging the government to negotiate their release.