It was uncertain on Saturday whether the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities would call off its five-month-old strike, despite the Federal Government’s Monday ultimatum.

There were speculations that the university lecturers would suspend the strike after the burial ceremony for an ex-ASUU President, Prof. Festus Iyayi, who was killed in an accident involving the Kogi State governor’s convoy.

However, sources in the union who spoke to our correspondents on Saturday insisted that the strike continues.

The Chairman, ASUU, University of Benin, Dr. Tony Monye-Emina said, “The strike has not been called off. The authority (of the institution) is following government’s directive; we are not shifting our stand. It is not a local strike.

“It is not true we are calling off the strike. How can we be holding a meeting tonight? The burial is going on and it continues tomorrow (today).”

Also, ASUU in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, vowed not to obey government’s order that lecturers should return to classroom on Monday.

The Chairman, ASUU, OOU chapter, Dr. Nasir Adesola said the lecturers would not succumb to threats by government to sack them.

Adesola, who is also the South-West Coordinator, ASUU, stressed that since the lecturers did not go on strike in the first instance because of government, they would not return to work by coercion from government.

He stated that the lecturers would only go back to the classroom when the government had met their demands.

“We didn’t go on strike because of government order. The reasons for which we embarked on the strike have not been discharged by the government. Those orders of government are just part of executive recklessness. We are not returning to work on Monday,” Adesola said.

Similarly, the ASUU Chairman in Enugu State University of Technology, Prof. Gab Agu, said lecturers would not resume on Monday. He said it was a rumour that the union would call of the strike.

He stated that the National Executive Council of ASUU would meet and agree before the strike could be called off.

Same with ASUU in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where the Chairman, Dr. Ifeanyi Abada, said only the ASUU NEC could announce the suspension of the strike.

The Governing Council of the University of Ibadan had on Friday, based on the directives of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities and the National Universities Commission, said the institution would be re-opened on January 4, 2014.

In the official bulletin of the university, which was signed by its Registrar and Secretary to the Council, Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, the council explained that the re-opening became necessary in view of the consideration of all matters relating to the on-going ASUU strike, at its recent meeting.

Source: Punch

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