Eight months after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) began its strike action, a meeting of its National Executive Committee(NEC) holding today is expected to lead to the suspension of the strike.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal had, last Friday, ordered the union to call off its strike.
The House of Representatives also intervened in the matter, raising the hope that the union may call off the strike soon.
Our correspondent gathered that most of the over 123 branches of the union have completed their congresses on the lingering strike.
However while some universities voted for the suspension of the strike, others voted for conditional suspension.
At the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, the branch did not reach a consensus, but the University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter did agree on suspending the strike.
A source within the OAU branch said, “No agreement was reached. Members agreed to follow the decision of the union’s National Executive Committee. Remember, we were on strike before the national body declared a strike.”
The situation was different at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, where one of our correspondents gathered that the branch voted in favour of “conditional suspension.”
However, at the congress held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, which also had ASUU members from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, both in Ondo State in attendance, members voted for suspension so as not to disobey court orders.
“Members did not want to vote initially but you know ASUU is a union of intellectuals and we cannot be caught breaking the law. That was why we voted for suspension,” a union member present at the congress said.
It was also gathered that Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria voted for a conditional suspension of the strike.
At the Usmanu DanFodiyo University, our correspondents also gathered that the branch voted for suspension based on the Appeal Court order.
Meanwhile, ASUU is awaiting the decision of the President Muhammadu Buhari on the salary increase for university lecturers.
On the issue of earned allowances, N50billion is said to have been budgeted to cater for outstanding earned allowances, while N170billion has been fixed for salary increases. However from 2024, it is the various governing councils that will be paying earned allowances, while N300billion will go for revitalisation.
When asked to comment on the possibility of suspending the strike, a member of ASUU NEC and the University of Jos ASUU Chairman, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, said, “The decision is for the NEC.”
The union’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, could not be reached as at presstime for comments.