Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, yesterday, opted to continue their nationwide protest, instead of embarking on another round of industrial action over their eight-month salaries being withheld by the Federal Government.
The decision was arrived at after a lengthy National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Calabar, Cross River State. A source told Vanguard that the meeting also agreed to continue to engage stakeholders on the way out of the current face-off between the union and the government.
“The National President will officially come out with the communique of the meeting. But we considered reports from branches regarding our nationwide protests and we are glad about what we got. It was agreed that the protests should continue, we need to let Nigerian people see that we have really given the government a long rope.
“Some prominent Nigerians and different groups have been on the matter. Seeking the way out, we also want to give the people more time to intervene too. At least at the end of the day, if we are pushed to the wall, whatever we decide to do, everybody will see that we have tried and endured enough,” the source said.
A number of personalities, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, intervened and also, and the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja gave an order for the union to shelve the strike before it would continue to entertain the matter before it.
Recall that when the union called off its strike on October 14, after eight months, the government only paid the lecturers half their salary for October and paid them a full salary in November.
Repeatedly, the government has said it was not going to pay them for the eight months they did not work, an issue the union has been kicking against.