Nigerian Government Break Off Negotiations With Striking University Professors, Claims ASUU Has Been Infiltrated By Opposition Politicians
President Goodluck Jonathan
By SaharaReporters, New York
The Nigerian Government has decided to break off negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over what it called the infiltration of the union by the opposition to discredit the government.
SaharaReporters gathered that as the committee set up by the Nigerian government to negotiate with the union gave a verdict of non-compromise on the part of the union and 'security report' of the infiltration of the opposition, it decided to break the negotiation.
It was revealed that the committee had reported to the government that the union had remained 'rigid and unbending' to suggestions on how to agree on some of the issues it was agitating for so as to end the strike which had entered its ninth week.
The committee had told the government that the union leaders were arrogant and selfish as their interest was paramount to that of their students who had been at home all this while.
The government after the report told the committee members that it had fresh security report that the union's stance on the lingering crisis in the education sector was as a result of the opposition's infiltration into the union.
It said the opposition wants to portray the government as irrational and uncaring to the plight of the lecturers and their students as well as present the government in bad light to Nigerians and the international community.
The government in breaking the negotiation has decided to fund individual student's education as it is done in advanced countries.
As a way of making nonsense of the industrial action by ASUU, SaharaReporters gathered that the government plans to introduce loans to the students throughout their period in the university so as to cushion the effect of the financial hardship on the students.
The government expects the students to re-pay the loans after graduation provided they get jobs of their choice. It however could not be ascertained how the loan to the students would compel the lecturers to call off the strike.
The National President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagee, had last week during a press conference at the University of Lagos, Nigeria said the union had pulled out of the negotiation between the union and the Nigerian government citing insincerity as reason for its decision, adding that the union would not call off its strike until the agreement the government signed with the union in 2009 is honoured.