ZONAL chapters of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have said they will meet this week to review the union’s ongoing strike.
The national body of the union and the Federal Government could not agree on the universities teachers’ demands, apart from the N65 billion the government released to the union last week.
ASUU Chairman at the Abia State University (ABSU), Mr. Victor U. Nkemdirim, announced yesterday that the union would meet tomorrow to discuss and pass a resolution on the lingering face-off between the government and the union’s members.
Nkemdirim, who said he was in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, for a zonal meeting of the union, told The Nation on phone that the union’s members in the zone would examine a memorandum from the national body and later take a position on it.
The union leader said the members would report back to the national leadership on the zone’s position.
“The ASUU national body asked various chapters nationwide to hold congresses between Monday and Wednesday to deliberate the resolutions on the items being discussed. Ours will be on Wednesday. We have no resolution for now until the congress meet by 7 a.m on Wednesday.”
But the union’s chairperson at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Chinyere Echendu, spoke with The Nation yesterday on phone at the end of the chapter’s meeting.
She said the university’s chapter had sent its position to the zonal chapter, which would communicate same to the national body.
On the position of the union at the end of the meeting, Prof. Echendu said: “As a branch, we have met and considered the proposal of the government.
“We have taken a resolution and have given the mandate back (to the national body) to continue with the meeting by Friday.
“It is not possible to tell you the resolutions that we reached. We have taken a position in my branch and the position we have given to our zonal coordinator, which he will present to the national body. The national body will present this to the national strike committee. The national strike committee will present it to the Federal Government.
“Whatever each branch has presented will be brought together for consideration and for a position to be taken.
“That is the way it works. There is nothing like yes or no answer in what you are asking me.”
The Sokoto zone of the union yesterday said it was also holding consultations on the latest overtures by the Federal Government before a meeting at the National Executive Council (NEC) level will determine its next line of action on the union’s strike.
The Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Jamilu Shehu, told The Nation that there is ongoing consultations in the various zones on the offer made by the federal government which could take up to next week before a final decision is conveyed to the National Executive Committee of ASUU for further action
Shehu, who also oversees varsities in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina states, insisted that the consultations must be concluded before any announcement by the NEC of the association.
The chairman of ASUU chapter at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, also said the chapter was still awaiting details of the overture by the Federal Government to the national body.
Maigoro, who spoke on phone with The Nation in Jos, said: “Government has made some offers but the details are not yet available to us.
“Consultations are still ongoing on the way forward.”
ASUU Chairman at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL), Dr. Kudu Dangana said: “The Federal Government is not serious. There are very important issues to address as raised by ASUU, but the Federal Government is playing with our demands.”