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After the end of the marathon meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Monday, which lasted for about 13 hours, the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said they would now go and brief their members on the details of the discussions.
The Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, told the reporters in the early hours of November 5, 2013, Tuesday, at the State House that the leaders would take the President’s message back to their members.
Dr. Fagge, who wore broad smiles afar emerging from the meeting venue at about 3.35 a.m. did not say what the message was when he spoke with the correspondents.
“Well we have had lengthy meeting with Mr. President, rubbing minds on how best to address the problem of University education in this country.
“And we now have a message from Mr. President we are going to take to our members. And we are expecting that our members will respond appropriately to the message of Mr. President.”
On whether the lecturers are going back to the classroom, he said: “That is up to our members.”
Asked what the message was, he said: “I can’t tell you. It’s not for you. It is for our members.”
If impressed with the message, he said: “Don’t put words into my mouth. Our members will determine that.”
The Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu, who also spoke with the press, just said what was discussed did not go beyond the 2009 agreement.
The meeting with the President had begun at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, around 2.40 p.m. on Monday, after ASUU had also met with the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark.
It would be mentioned that it was the first meeting between the striking union and President Goodluck Jonathan since the strike began 1 July, shutting down almost all state and Federal Government owned universities in Nigeria.
The Federal Government had initially offered the striking lecturers N30billion to pay for allowances piled up since government and the union hammered out an agreement in 2009. Government also offered N100billion to pay for improvements of facilities in the universities and later increased this to N200billion on a yearly basis.
ASUU rejected the offer as too small and insisted on government implementing in full the 2009 agreement.