The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), ahead of its Friday’s meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that its ongoing strike is in the country’s interest, Punch News reports.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, National President, ASUU, stated this in an interview with Punch News in response to the call on the union to call off the strike by prominent Nigerians and various organizations.
Prof. Ogunyemi said that nobody has the monopoly of national interest.
He noted that the strike would not be called off until the Federal Government acceded to Lecturers demands.
According to Punch, the calls for the suspension of the strike became heightened last week when INEC raised the alarm that the face-off between the FG and ASUU constituted a serious threat to the 2019 general elections.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Festus Okoye, had pleaded with ASUU to suspend the strike in national interest and for the sake of democracy.
The commissioner said the meeting with ASUU would focus principally on the issue of the role and involvement of the union members in the 2019 general elections.
“The national interest, the interest of democracy and the reputation of Nigeria demand the immediate resolution of the issues that led to the strike and we so urge. It is next to impossibility for members of the NYSC to provide all the ad hoc staff needs and requirements of the commission and over 70 percent of the ad hoc staff requirement in some states of the federation is drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions,” Okoye said.
But Ogunyemi said ASUU did not declare the strike with INEC, adding that it is what INEC will say that will inform the union’s response.
“Well, INEC has requested for a meeting. The INEC chairman has contacted us and we are will to oblige them. So our own procedure is that since they have requested for a meeting, we will listen to them. It is what they will tell us that will inform our response. First of all, we didn’t declare the strike with INEC,” he said.