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I Have Been Deceiving Myself On ASUU Strike, Says Education Minister

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The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, says he has been deceiving himself over the move to resolve the lingering strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Adamu stated that he has been in a dark period of personal anguish and internal turmoil over the ASUU’s lingering industrial action.

The minister said this during the meeting with vice-chancellors and pro-chancellors of federal universities at the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja on Tuesday.

ASUU had embarked on a strike on February 14 following the failure of the Federal Government to meet the union’s demands.

He said: “The past two weeks have been a very dark period of personal anguish and internal turmoil. I used to deceive myself that in a climate of frankness, and with mutual goodwill, it will fall to my lot to bring an end to the incessant strikes in the education sector.

“This has not proved possible, or, at least, not as easy, quickly and straightforward, as I used to think.

“Distinguished Chairmen, vice-chancellors, I called you today not to share with you my anguish but to share with you the details of what we have done and what remains to be done.

“And certainly, a lot remains to be done. But for very different reasons, the current positions of government and ASUU on the future of negotiations seem to have coincided.

“For me, this is a position I would have wanted us to reach after an amicable resolution of all the issues contained in the 2009 Agreements. It appears that we are running ahead of the negotiations but not for the right reasons.

“The President of ASUU has been reported to have said the Union would no longer negotiate with the current Federal Government.

“This position must be resisted. Government and ASUU have no option than to continue talking until our universities have reopened their doors to students, who clearly are the principal victims of the seemingly unending strikes.

“In the circumstances, therefore, all Councils and Senates of our universities are enjoined to rise up to their responsibilities,” Adamu stated.

The minister further stressed that the Federal Government would continue to enhance the working conditions of all university staff, academic and non-teaching, adding that the main challenge “is dwindling resources available to address all the concerns of the citizenry.”

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