ASUU: Catholic Bishop’s intervention fails

Hope continues to dim for the resolution of the indefinite strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has entered its 101th day as the much anticipated intervention by the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria has failed to convince the union to return to work.
The bishops, rising from their plenary in Otukpo, Benue State mid-September had offered to mediate in the impasse between the government and the striking lecturers.
Speaking in a telephone conversation yesterday, the National President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, admitted that the union received a letter from the Catholic Bishops.
He added that the bishops, in the letter, urged the union to meet the government halfway.
“We have responded to the letter and we noted that we have already met the government halfway. In 2006, we did that and the agreement then was a product of collective bargaining. In 2012, we also met the government halfway, we shifted ground,” Fagge said.
He noted that the position of the union remains the same: that the government should implement the 2009 agreement.
“We accept the efforts of anyone who wants to intervene, but what we are saying is that the government should implement the agreement. If two parties have an agreement, the two parties should respect the position of the agreement,” he added.
Fagge, disclosed that talks and meetings are still being held with the Education Minister.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the Board of Tertiary Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr. Musa Babayo, has appealed to ASUU to shelve its strike in the interest of the nation.
He spoke at a meeting with Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of universities in Abuja yesterday.
“We continue to appeal to ASUU to call off the industrial action. We have a moral responsibility to know where our rights begin and where they end, because other people have rights too,” he said.
Babayo disclosed that the lecturers have refused to access N3 billion TETFund grants for ground-breaking researches and N2billion for book development.