The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Ahmed Wase has ordered relevant committees of the chamber to intervene in the crisis between the Federal Government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Wase, who presided over the plenary on Wednesday, mandated chairmen of the House Committees on Education and Labour to resolve the crisis, failing which the leadership of the parliament would step into the matter.
At the close of the plenary, Wase said, “There is something that is still left out and I want to use (this opportunity) and beg our Chairmen of Committees on Labour and Education to expedite action on the resolution of the crisis in the education industry. This will go a long way in helping our citizens.
“I want to beg that, please, let us do the right thing so that we resolve the matter as quickly as possible. The House has intervened in a number of issues and I think it would not be too much if we can resolve this within a short period of time…or for the leadership to intervene if there is not much progress. I pray that there is very excellent progress, moving ahead.”
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had earlier on Tuesday said the Senate would intervene in the lingering dispute by bringing back the two parties to the negotiation table.
Lawan made the promise to the executives of the National Association of Nigerian Students who were led to his office by a Bishop of the Methodist Church, Dr. Sunday Onuoha.
Students shut down Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. Scores of students in Ogun state, on Wednesday, blocked the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to protest the ASUU strike.
The students, under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Student, Ogun State Joint Campus Committee, invaded the Obada axis of the highway with placards chanting anti-government songs.
The protesters displayed placards with inscriptions such as “End ASUU Strike now”, “Enough is Enough”, “Nigerian Students are suffering” and “FG listen to ASUU”.
The protest left, many motorists stranded as travellers were trapped.
Speaking on behalf of the students, the state chairman of NANS, Kehinde, Simeon, warned that the extension of the strike would worsen the nation’s security challenges.
He said, “It is unfortunate that the Federal government is playing politics with the lives of Nigerian students. We have been clamouring from time past ever since the commencement of this ASUU strike that something should be done with immediate effect, but it is obvious that both the Federal government and ASUU have decided to turn deaf ears to our agitations.”
Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Ngige to meet ASUU Thursday. The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Agboola Gambari, alongside the Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, will be leading a meeting between the government and ASSUU as well as all other registered trade unions in Nigerian universities on Thursday.
Others to be present at the meeting are identified interest groups and Civil societies.In an invitation to the media, the ministry’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Olajide Oshundun, indicated that Gambari will be chair the meeting.
The message read, “The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, will host a Tripartite-Plus meeting between the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other registered trade unions in Nigerian universities, as well as identified interest groups and civil societies, on the on-ongoing industrial actions by the trade unions.
“The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Agboola Gambari, will chair the meeting.”