EXCLUSIVE: How Tinubu facilitated final resolution of protracted ASUU’s strike
…FG to pay university lecturers 2 months pay out of 8months withheld salary
The final resolution of the protracted Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) crisis and the call-off of the eight months strike had the imprint of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, WesternPost can authoritatively reveal.
Worried by the disagreement between the lecturers and government which had kept university students at home for eight months, Tinubu first sought and received the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.
He then held series of meetings with the ASUU leadership, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and some members of the panel constituted to resolve the crisis.
Some of the meetings, it was learnt, were held at the residence of the Minister of Education, while at least one took place at a location in Asokoro.
The meetings were said to have recorded initial success with both parties showing understanding and readiness to resolve the nagging issues.
The bone of contention, however, was getting the Federal Government to agree to pay the lecturers for the period they were on strike since the no- work-no-pay policy of the government is a law of sort.
And the government did not want to break the law it put in place.
However, the APC presidential candidate was able to extract some commitment from the government to relax the rule and at least offer one or two months pay to the lecturers.
Another problem, however, arose when the lectures insisted on payment for the full period of the strike.
It was while this was on that Tinubu invited House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila to one of the meetings to be part of the negotiation and resolution team.
At the meeting held at a location in Asokoro attended by ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, a former ASUU President, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu among others, Speaker Gbajabiamila offered to get the House of Representatives to take up the gauntlet.
The House met with the leadership of ASUU and the representatives of the Federal Government, including Mallam Adamu.
WesternPost learnt that while this intervention was on, Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, in a move that almost threw spanners into the peace process, dragged the ASUU leaders to the Industrial Court.
The House, however, went ahead with its peace moves as if unaware of the case before the court.
Eventually the legislators first put together a report which the Speaker handed over to President Buhari for consideration and approval. The lawmakers later passed a resolution to accommodate its position and FG’s approval, which paved the way for the calling off of the strike.
In the details of the resolution which Westernpost glimpsed, the university lecturers were offered two months pay while a contingency plan will be made to clear the remaining salaries and the salary increment agreed to in a supplementary appropriation.